H. B. 2502
(By Delegates Leach, Hubbard, Jenkins and Johnson)
[Introduced February 15, 1995; referred to the
Committee on Political Subdivisions then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section four, article thirteen,
chapter eight of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and
reenact section four, article twelve, chapter eleven,
relating to taxation and finance; municipal license and fee
thereon; and business registration tax.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section four, article thirteen, chapter eight of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and section four, article
twelve, chapter eleven of said code, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
CHAPTER 8. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.
ARTICLE 13. TAXATION AND FINANCE.
§8-13-4. Municipal license and fee thereon.
Whenever anything, for which a state license is required, is
to be done Whenever any business activity or occupation is
engaged in or carried on within the corporate limits of any
municipality, the governing body thereof shall have plenary power
and authority , unless prohibited by general law, to require a
municipal license therefor and for the use of the municipality to
impose a reasonable tax thereon which may not exceed the amount
of the state license tax. fee for such license. Such fee shall
not exceed fifteen dollars for every business activity, except
for those businesses engaged in the sale of liquor, wine or beer,
and in contracting activities, for which the fee shall not exceed
the amount charged for a state license. Upon proper application
for such municipal license and payment of the prescribed
reasonable tax fee by any person who has a valid and subsisting
state license business registration certificate or license, or
both, such municipal license shall be issued.
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.
ARTICLE 12. BUSINESS REGISTRATION TAX.
§11-12-4. Application for business registration certificate;
issuance of business certificate; effect of
business registration certificate; municipal
(a) General rule. -- Except as otherwise provided in this
article, a person shall register with the tax commissioner prior
to engaging in or prosecuting any business activity in this
state. The application for business registration shall be in
such form and contain such information as the tax commissioner
may require; and the applicant shall set forth truthfully and
accurately the information required by the tax commissioner.
Upon receipt of a complete and properly executed application
form, accompanied by payment of (or claim of exemption from) the
tax levied by section three for each business registration
certificate, the tax commissioner shall, if he determines to his
satisfaction that all of the conditions precedent to the granting
of such certificate have been fulfilled by the applicant, issue
such business registration certificate or certificates.
(b) Certificate not to validate illegal activity. -- Nothing
in this article, including, but not limited to, any payment of the tax imposed or issuance of any certificate of registration
under the provisions hereof, shall be deemed to legalize any act,
business activity or transaction which otherwise may be illegal
or conducted in violation of law; or to exempt any person from
any civil or criminal penalty prescribed for such illegal act or
(c) Certificate not to be construed as consent to general
tax jurisdiction of this state. -- The filing of an application
for business registration certificate (or for renewal thereof)
and payment of the tax imposed by section three shall not be
construed by the tax commissioner or the courts of this state as
consent, submission or admission by the registrant to the general
taxing jurisdiction of this state, and liability for such other
taxes imposed by this state shall depend upon the relevant facts
in each case and the applicable law.
(d) Power of municipalities to impose license
preserved. -- Notwithstanding the repeal, as of the first day of
July, one thousand nine hundred seventy, of certain license taxes
then imposed by this article and article thirteen-a of this
chapter, the power of a municipality to impose similar license taxes fees, by ordinance adopted pursuant to the authority of its
charter or this code, was and is preserved. Provided, That the
municipal license taxes imposed on any business, activity, trade
or employment that was previously subject to a state license tax
under this article or article thirteen-a of this chapter, cannot
exceed the state license tax in effect on such business,
activity, trade or employment of the first day of January, one
thousand nine hundred seventy; and Municipalities shall have the
power to impose similar penalties as those then provided in this
article and article thirteen-a of this chapter for noncompliance
with such state license taxes.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide authorization
to municipalities to require a license for any business activity
or occupation engaged in or carried on within the corporate
limits of the municipality, and set the fees which may be charged
for such licenses.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.