H. B. 2697
(By Delegate R. M. Thompson)
January 27, 2003
; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend article fifteen, chapter eleven of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated section nine-h,
relating to creating an exemption to the consumer sales and
service tax for heating fuel and propane gas purchased by
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article fifteen, chapter eleven of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section nine-h,
to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15. CONSUMERS SALES AND SERVICE TAX.
§11-15-9h. Heating fuel and propane exemption for small churches.
(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms and
(1) A "small church" means a church of any faith as defined
for purposes of Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986,
as amended, that is situate in the state of West Virginia, serves
a congregation of less than one hundred fifty people, and that uses
propane or other heating fuel to heat church buildings or meeting
halls used exclusively for worship.
(2) "Congregation" means the number of persons in the
congregation based upon the average attendance of persons at
worship services, determined in accordance with such methodologies
and procedures as the tax commissioner may establish, and may not
be based on formal or registered membership of the church.
(3) "Church buildings, or meeting halls used exclusively for
religious worship" does not include any office, parsonage, meeting
hall, school, workshop, recreation hall, cafeteria, gymnasium,
elder hostel, reception hall, nursing home or studio or any other
building or structure not used exclusively for religious worship.
In cases where a room or segment of a building is used exclusively
for religious worship, but other rooms, segments or portions of the
same building are not used exclusively for religious worship, the
tax commissioner may prescribe methods and procedures for
determining the portion of heating fuel purchases for that building
that is subject to exemption and exclusively used for religious
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section eighteen of this article, subdivision (5), subsection (a), section nine of this
article, or any other provision of this article to the contrary,
sales of propane or other heating fuel to small churches that is
used to heat church buildings, or meeting halls used exclusively
for religious worship are exempt from the consumers sales and
service tax imposed by this article.
(c) Any seller of propane or heating fuel to small churches
subject to this exemption that may have previously paid the
consumer sales and service tax on the propane or heating fuel in
the purchase price shall not pass on the tax to the small church,
but shall make application for and receive a refund of the tax from
the tax commissioner pursuant to the applicable rules or
requirements of the tax commissioner.
(d) The tax commissioner may propose legislative, interpretive
or procedural rules in accordance with the provisions of article
three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code addressing the exemption
provided by this section.
(e) Any person having a right or claim to any exemption set
forth in this section shall first pay to the vendor the tax imposed
by this article and then apply to the tax commissioner for a refund
or credit, or as provided in section nine-d of this article, give
to the vendor his or her West Virginia direct pay permit number.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create an exemption to
the consumer sales tax for heating fuel and propane purchased by
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.