Senate Bill No. 373
(By Senators Love, Rowe, Ross, Sharpe and Hunter)
[Introduced January 28, 2003; referred to the Committee on
A BILL to amend and reenact section five, article twelve, chapter
eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended; to amend and reenact section eleven,
article two, chapter eleven-a of said code; and to further
amend said article by adding thereto a new section, designated
section twenty, all relating to payment of personal property
taxes as a condition precedent to receiving or maintaining a
business registration certificate; requiring sheriffs to
notify delinquent personal property owners; and requiring the
tax commissioner to suspend or refuse to issue a business
registration certificate where business has not paid
delinquent personal property taxes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section five, article twelve, chapter eleven of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that section eleven, article two, chapter
eleven-a of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said
article be further amended by adding thereto a new section,
designated section twenty, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.
ARTICLE 12. BUSINESS REGISTRATION TAX.
§11-12-5. Time for which registration certificate granted; power
of tax commissioner to suspend or cancel certificate;
refusal to renew.
(a) Registration period. -- All business registration
certificates issued under the provisions of section four of this
shall be are for the period of one year beginning the first
day of July and ending the thirtieth day of the following June:
Provided, That beginning on or after the first day of July, one
thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, all business registration
certificates issued under the provisions of section four of this
article shall be issued for two fiscal years of this state, subject
to the following transition rule. If the first year for which a
business was issued a business registration certificate under this
article began on the first day of July of an even-numbered calendar
year, then the tax commissioner may issue a renewal certificate to
that business for the period beginning the first day of July, one
thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, and ending the thirtieth day of
June, two thousand, upon receipt of fifteen dollars for each such one-year certificate. Thereafter, only certificates covering two
fiscal years of this state shall be issued.
(b) Revocation or suspension of certificate. --
(1) The tax commissioner may cancel or suspend a business
registration certificate at any time during a registration period
(A) The registrant filed an application for a business
registration certificate, or an application for renewal thereof,
for the registration period that was false or fraudulent.
(B) The registrant willfully refused or neglected to file a
tax return or to report information required by the tax
commissioner for any tax imposed by or pursuant to this chapter.
(C) The registrant willfully refused or neglected to pay any
tax, additions to tax, penalties or interest, or any part thereof,
when they became due and payable under this chapter, determined
with regard to any authorized extension of time for payment.
(D) The registrant neglected to pay over to the tax
commissioner on or before its due date, determined with regard to
any authorized extension of time for payment, any tax imposed by
this chapter which the registrant collects from any person and
holds in trust for this state.
(E) The registrant abused the privilege afforded to it by
article fifteen or fifteen-a of this chapter to be exempt from
payment of the taxes imposed by such articles on some or all of the registrant's purchases for use in business upon issuing to the
vendor a properly executed exemption certificate, by failing to
timely pay use tax on taxable purchase for use in business, or by
failing to either pay the tax or give a properly executed exemption
certificate to the vendor.
(F) The registrant has failed to pay in full the personal
property taxes owing for the calendar year immediately preceding
the calendar year in which the application is made.
(2) Before canceling or suspending any
registration certificate, the tax commissioner shall give written
notice of his or her intent to suspend or cancel the business
registration certificate of the taxpayer, the reason for the
suspension or cancellation, the effective date of the cancellation
or suspension and the date, time and place where the taxpayer may
appear and show cause why such business registration certificate
should not be canceled or suspended. This written notice shall
must be served on the taxpayer in the same manner as a notice of
assessment is served under article ten of this chapter, not less
than twenty days prior to the date of such the show cause informal
hearing. The taxpayer may appeal cancellation or suspension of its
business registration certificate in the same manner as a notice of
assessment is appealed under said article: Provided, That the
filing of a petition for appeal shall may not stay the effective
date of the suspension or cancellation. A stay may be granted only after a hearing is held on a motion to stay filed by the
registrant, upon finding that state revenues will not be
jeopardized by the granting of the stay. The tax commissioner may,
in his or her discretion and upon such terms as he or she may
specify, agree to stay the effective date of the cancellation or
suspension until another date certain: Provided, however, That
before canceling or suspending a certificate under the provisions
of paragraph (F) above, the sheriff of the county wherein business
personal property of the registrant is situated and wherein the
registrant's business personal property tax is delinquent shall
certify to the tax commissioner that the personal property tax
delinquency exists and that the registrant has been informed by
certified mail of the delinquency. The tax commissioner shall then
inform the registrant that the certificate has been and will
continue to be suspended until the taxes owing are either paid to
the sheriff or exonerated under the provisions of article three of
(c) Refusal to renew. -- The tax commissioner may refuse to
issue or renew a business registration certificate if the
registrant is delinquent in the payment of any tax administered by
the tax commissioner under article ten of this chapter or the
corporate license tax imposed by article twelve-c of this chapter,
until the registrant pays in full all
such the delinquent taxes
including interest and applicable additions to tax and penalties. In his or her discretion and upon such terms as he or she may
specify, the tax commissioner may enter into an installment payment
agreement with such the taxpayer in lieu of the complete payment.
Failure of the taxpayer to fully comply with the terms of the
installment payment agreement shall render the amount remaining due
thereunder immediately due and payable and the tax commissioner may
suspend or cancel the business registration certificate in the
manner hereinbefore provided in this section.
(d) Refusal to renew due to delinquent personal property tax.
-- The tax commissioner shall refuse to issue or renew a business
registration certificate when informed in writing, signed by the
county sheriff, that personal property owned by the applicant and
used in conjunction with the business activity of the applicant is
subject to delinquent property taxes. The tax commissioner shall
forthwith notify the applicant that the commissioner will not act
upon the application until information is provided evidencing that
the taxes due are either exonerated or paid.
CHAPTER 11A. COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES.
ARTICLE 2. DELINQUENCY AND METHODS OF ENFORCING PAYMENT.
§11A-2-11. Delinquent lists; oath.
The sheriff, after ascertaining which of the taxes assessed in
his or her county are delinquent, shall, on or before the first day
of May next succeeding the year for which the taxes were assessed,
prepare the following delinquent lists, arranged by districts and alphabetically by name of the person charged, and showing in
respect to each the amount of taxes remaining delinquent on the
thirtieth day of April: (1) A list of property in the landbook
improperly entered or not ascertainable; (2) a list of other
delinquent real estate; and (3) a list of all other delinquent
taxes: Provided, That this list shall conclude with a notice,
substantially as follows: "Any person holding a West Virginia
business registration certificate under the authority of article
twelve, chapter eleven of this code who does not pay all delinquent
personal property taxes within sixty days of this publication shall
have his or her license to do business in this state suspended
until the delinquency is cured."
The sheriff on returning each list shall, at the foot thereof,
subscribe an oath, which
shall must be subscribed before and
certified by some person duly authorized to administer oaths, in
form or effect as follows:
I, ........, sheriff (or deputy sheriff or collector) of the
County of ........., do swear that the foregoing list is, to the
best of my knowledge and belief, complete and accurate, and that I
have received none of the taxes listed therein.
Except for the oath, the
tax commissioner state auditor shall
prescribe the form of the delinquent lists.
§11A-2-20. Certified list of delinquent business personal
Upon publication by the sheriff of the certified list of
delinquent personal property taxes, the sheriff shall give notice
by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each person or
business appearing thereon who is subject to the provisions of
article twelve, chapter eleven of this code that unless the
personal property tax delinquency is paid within sixty days of
receipt of such notice, the business registration certificate of
the business certified as delinquent in the payment of its personal
property taxes shall be suspended until the amount of delinquent
taxes, interest, costs and penalties, appearing on the list are
paid. A copy of the notice must be provided to the prosecuting
attorney of the county or counties where the business is located.
Upon payment of the delinquent personal property taxes to the
sheriff of the county who certified the delinquency of the personal
property taxes the sheriff shall communicate to the tax
commissioner and to the prosecuting attorney that payment of the
delinquent personal property tax has been received and the tax
commissioner shall then reinstate the status of the business entity
to that of good standing.
Any business claiming to be aggrieved by the suspension of its
business registration certificate may file a petition for appeal
with the tax commissioner in the same manner as a notice of
assessment is appealed under article ten, chapter eleven of this
code: Provided, That the filing of a petition for appeal shall not stay the effective date of the suspension. The sheriff is hereby
authorized to impose a fee against the delinquent business for
costs of the notice required in this section not to exceed ten
dollars. The tax commissioner is authorized to propose rules for
legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of section
three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as may be necessary to
accomplish the objectives of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require businesses to
pay personal property taxes in order to maintain a valid business
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would
§11A-2-20 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring
have been omitted.