Every corporation, including railroad and other corporations, holding more than ten thousand acres of land in this state shall pay to the state a tax of five cents per acre for the privilege of acquiring and holding of land so acquired and held by it in addition to ten thousand acres. Such corporations shall, under the hand of the president and seal of the corporation, and attested by the secretary, apply to the secretary of state for a certificate authorizing the holding of the number of acres stated in such application, and pay the tax thereon; and it shall be the duty of the secretary of state to issue to such corporation a certificate stating the amount of tax paid and the number of acres on which paid, and the number of acres the corporation is thereby entitled to hold. Hereafter a domestic corporation shall state in its agreement for incorporation and a foreign corporation shall state in its application for authority to hold property and transact business in this state, the number of acres it desires to hold, and pay the taxes thereon to the secretary of state before the certificate of incorporation or of authority is issued. If any corporation desires to increase the number of acres it may hold, it shall make application therefor to the secretary of state. Such application shall be signed by the president of the corporation, sealed with its corporate seal, and attested by the secretary, and shall state the number of acres it then holds and the number of acres it desires to hold. The secretary of state shall collect the proper amount of tax and shall issue to the corporation a certificate reciting the number of acres the corporation may hold and the amount of tax paid to him. If any corporation shall fail to comply with the provisions of this section it shall be liable to a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than five hundred dollars, and be liable to pay such tax due to the state with a penalty of ten percent on the total amount due, and be liable to all the provisions of sections eighty-six and eighty-seven of this article so far as they are applicable. All moneys received by the secretary of state under the provisions of this section shall be reported to the auditor, and paid into the state treasury in the manner prescribed for the payment of other moneys received by him. No corporation shall be required to pay the said tax of five cents per acre for license to hold any land in this state in excess of ten thousand acres for which such corporation shall have already paid a license tax at the time this law takes effect.
A corporation which has paid said tax may assign, without further payment by the assignee of the tax required hereunder, its license or authority to hold lands in excess of ten thousand acres provided the assignee shall be a corporation organized solely to conduct the same general business and with the same stock ownership as the original licensee and such assignment be accompanied by a conveyance and transfer to such assignee corporation of all the lands and other assets of the original licensee. Such assignment shall be filed with the secretary of state who, upon being satisfied that the assignee corporation has conformed to the foregoing requirements, shall issue a certificate authorizing such assignee corporation to hold the same number of acres the original licensee was authorized to hold.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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