Senate Bill No. 190
(By Senators Sharpe, Anderson, Snyder, Ross, Dugan, White,
Minear and Helmick)
[Introduced January 21, 1998; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections two and four, article eight,
chapter sixty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to the
sale of wines; and adding a definition for cider, with the
imposition of a separate liter tax on cider.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two and four, article eight, chapter sixty of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. SALE OF WINES.
PART II. SALE OF WINE GENERALLY.
Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:
"Cider" means any alcoholic beverage obtained by the natural
fermentation of the juices of apples and containing not less than
one half of one percent alcohol by volume, but not more than
seven percent by volume, including, but not limited to, flavored,
sparkling or carbonated cider.
"Commissioner" or "commission" means the West Virginia
alcohol beverage control commissioner.
"Distributor" means any person whose principal place of
business is within the state of West Virginia, and who is engaged
in selling or distributing wine to retailers or private wine
restaurants and selling or distributing port, sherry and Madeira
wines to wine specialty shops under authority of this article and
actually maintains a warehouse in this state for the distribution
"Fortified wine" shall mean any wine to which brandy or
other alcohol has been added and shall include dessert wines
which are not fortified.
"Grocery store" means any retail establishment, commonly
known as a grocery store, supermarket, delicatessen, caterer or
party supply store, where food, food products and supplies for
the table are sold for consumption off the premises with average
monthly sales (exclusive of sales of wine) of not less than five hundred dollars and an average monthly inventory (exclusive of
inventory of wine) of not less than three thousand dollars. The
term "grocery store" shall also include and mean a separate and
segregated portion of any other retail store which is dedicated
solely to the sale of food, food products and supplies for the
table for consumption off the premises with average monthly sales
with respect to such separate or segregated portion (exclusive of
sales of wine) of not less than three thousand dollars and an
average monthly inventory (exclusive of inventory of wine) of not
less than three thousand dollars.
"Licensee" means the holder of a license granted under the
provisions of this article.
"Private wine restaurant" means a restaurant which: (1) Is
a partnership, limited partnership, corporation, unincorporated
association or other business entity which has as its principal
purpose the business of serving meals on its premises to its
members and their guests; (2) is licensed under the provisions of
this article as to all of its premises or as to a separate
segregated portion of its premises to serve wine to its members
and their guests when such sale accompanies the serving of food
or meals; and (3) admits only duly elected and approved dues
paying members and their guests while in the company of a member,
and does not admit the general public.
"Retailer" means any person licensed to sell wine at retail
to the public at his established place of business for
off-premises consumption and who is licensed to do so under
authority of this article.
"Supplier" means any manufacturer, producer, processor,
distributor or supplier of wine who sells or offers to sell or
solicits or negotiates the sale of wine to any licensed West
"Tax" includes within its meaning interest, additions to tax
"Taxpayer" means any person liable for any tax, interest,
additions to tax or penalty under the provisions of this article
and any person claiming a refund of tax.
"Varietal wine" means any wine labeled according to the
grape variety from which such wine is made.
"Vintage wine" or "vintage-dated wine" means wines from
which the grapes used to produce such wine are harvested during
a particular year or wines produced from the grapes of a
particular harvest in a particular region of production.
"Wine" means any alcoholic beverage obtained by the natural
fermentation of the natural content of grapes, other fruits or
honey or other agricultural products containing sugar and to
which no alcohol has been added and shall include table wine and cider, and shall exclude fortified wine and shall also exclude
any product defined as or embraced within the definition of
nonintoxicating beer under the provisions of article sixteen,
chapter eleven of this code.
"Wine specialty shop" means a retailer who shall deal
principally in the sale of table wine, certain fortified wines,
wine accessories and food or foodstuffs normally associated with
wine and: (1) Who shall maintain a representative number of such
wines for sale in his inventory which are designated by label as
varietal wine, vintage, generic and/or according to region of
production and the inventory shall contain not less than fifteen
percent vintage or vintage-dated wine by actual bottle count and;
(2) who, any other provisions of this code to the contrary
notwithstanding, may maintain an inventory of port, sherry and
Madiera wines having an alcoholic content of not more than
twenty-two percent alcohol by volume and which have been matured
in wooden barrels or casks.
§60-8-4. Liter tax.
There is hereby levied and imposed on all wine sold after
the thirtieth day of April, one thousand nine hundred
eighty-three, by suppliers to distributors, except wine sold to
the commissioner, a tax of twenty-six and four hundred six- thousandths cents per liter. There is hereby levied and imposed on all cider sold after the thirtieth day of June, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-eight, by suppliers to distributors, except
cider sold to the commissioner, a tax of five cents per liter.
Before the sixteenth day of each month thereafter, every
supplier shall make a written report under oath to the tax
commissioner showing the identity of the purchaser, the quantity,
label and alcoholic content of wine sold by the supplier to West
Virginia distributors during the preceding month, and at the same
time shall pay the tax imposed by this article on the wine sold
to the distributor during the preceding month.
The reports shall contain other information and be in the
form the tax commissioner may require. For purposes of this
article, the reports required by this section shall be considered
tax returns covered by the provisions of article ten, chapter
eleven of this code.
No wine imported, sold or distributed in this state shall be
subject to more than one liter tax.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to add a definition of
cider to wine sales and to impose a separate liter tax on cider.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.