(a) General. -- County commissions have no inherent authority to levy taxes and have only that authority expressly granted to them by the Legislature. The Legislature is specifically extended, and intends by this article, to exercise certain relevant powers expressed in section six-a, article X of the Constitution of this state as follows: (1) The Legislature may appropriate state funds for use in matching or maximizing grants-in-aid for public purposes from the United States or any department, bureau, commission or agency thereof, or any other source, to any county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state, under such circumstances and subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions as the Legislature may prescribe by law; and (2) the Legislature may impose a state tax or taxes or dedicate a state tax or taxes or any portion thereof for the benefit of and use by counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state for public purposes, the proceeds of any such imposed or dedicated tax or taxes or portion thereof to be distributed to such counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state under such circumstances and subject to such terms, conditions and restrictions as the Legislature may prescribe.
Because a special district excise tax would have the effect of diverting, for a specified period of years, tax dollars which to the extent, if any, are not essentially incremental to tax dollars currently paid into the General Revenue Fund of the state, the Legislature finds that in order to substantially ensure that such special district excise taxes will not adversely impact the current level of the General Revenue Fund of the state, it is necessary for the Legislature to separately consider and act upon each and every economic development district which is proposed, including the unique characteristics of location, current condition and activity of and within the area included in such proposed economic opportunity development district and that for such reasons a statute more general in ultimate application is not feasible for accomplishment of the intention and purpose of the Legislature in enacting this article. Therefore, no economic opportunity development district excise tax may be levied by a county commission until after the Legislature expressly authorizes the county commission to levy a special district excise tax on sales of tangible personal property and services made within district boundaries approved by the Legislature.
(b) Authorizations. -- The Legislature authorizes the following county commissions to levy special district excise taxes on sales of tangible personal property and services made from business locations in the following economic opportunity development districts:
(1) The Ohio County Commission may levy a special district excise tax for the benefit of the Fort Henry Economic Opportunity Development District which comprises five hundred contiguous acres of land. Notwithstanding the time limitations provisions of subdivision (2), subsection (a), section fifteen of this article, the Fort Henry Economic Opportunity Development District shall not be abolished under subdivision (2), subsection (a), section fifteen of this article until the year 2044, unless sooner abolished and terminated in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (1), subsection (a), section fifteen of this article or any other provision of this code, or sooner abolished for any other reason: Provided, That on December 31, 2044, the provisions of subdivision (2), subsection (a), section fifteen of this article shall apply to abolish the Fort Henry Economic Opportunity Development District, if the district has not been abolished prior to that date.
(2) The Harrison County Commission may levy a special district excise tax for the benefit of the Charles Pointe Economic Opportunity Development District which comprises four hundred thirty-seven acres of land; and
(3) The Monongalia County Commission may levy a special
district excise tax for the benefit of the University Town Centre
Economic Opportunity District which comprises approximately one
thousand four hundred fifty contiguous acres of land.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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