Senate Bill No. 342

(By Senator Love)


[Introduced January 31, 2000; referred to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section four, article twelve, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the business registration tax generally; and providing for proof of payment of personal taxes prior to receiving the business certificate from the tax commissioner.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section four, article twelve, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§11-12-4. Application for business registration certificate; issuance of business certificate; effect of business registration certificate; municipal license taxes.

(a) (1) 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 the form and contain such the information as the required by 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 or she determines to his or her satisfaction that all of the conditions precedent to the granting of such the certificate have been fulfilled by the applicant, issue such a business registration certificate or certificates.
(2) Exception. -- The business registration certificate or certificates may not be issued or renewed by the tax commissioner unless the applicant has furnished the receipt provided to show full payment of the personal property taxes for the calendar year which immediately precedes the calendar year in which the application is made on all personal property, as defined in article five of this chapter, which was owned by the applicant and used in conjunction with the business activity of the applicant on the tax day for the former calender year. If the applicant contends that the personal property was not subject to personal taxation for that year, the applicant must provide such information and evidence as the tax commissioner requires to substantiate that contention.
(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 of this section, legalizes any act, business activity or transaction which otherwise may be illegal or conducted in violation of law or to exempt exempts any person from any civil or criminal penalty prescribed for such the illegal act or violation.
(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 of the certificate and payment of the tax imposed by section three shall not be construed by the tax commissioner or the courts of this state does not serve 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 depends upon the relevant facts in each case and the applicable law.
(d) Power of municipalities to impose license taxes 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, 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 may not exceed the state license tax in effect on such the 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 the state license taxes.