(a) Imposition. -- A solid waste assessment fee is hereby imposed upon the disposal of solid waste at any solid waste disposal facility in this state in the amount of one dollar and seventy-five cents per ton or part thereof of solid waste. The fee imposed by this section is in addition to all other fees and taxes levied by law and shall be added to and constitute part of any other fee charged by the operator or owner of the solid waste disposal facility.
(b) Collection, return, payment and records. -- The person disposing of solid waste at the solid waste disposal facility shall pay the fee imposed by this section, whether or not such person owns the solid waste, and the fee shall be collected by the operator of the solid waste facility who shall remit it to the tax commissioner.
(1) The fee imposed by this section accrues at the time the solid waste is delivered to the solid waste disposal facility.
(2) The operator shall remit the fee imposed by this section to the tax commissioner on or before the fifteenth day of the month next succeeding the month in which the fee accrued. Upon remittance of the fee, the operator is required to file returns on forms and in the manner as prescribed by the tax commissioner.
(3) The operator shall account to the state for all fees collected under this section and shall hold them in trust for the state until remitted to the tax commissioner.
(4) If any operator fails to collect the fee imposed by this section, he or she is personally liable for such amount as he or she failed to collect, plus applicable additions to tax, penalties and interest imposed by article ten, chapter eleven of this code.
(5) Whenever any operator fails to collect, truthfully account for, remit the fee or file returns with the fee as required in this section, the tax commissioner may serve written notice requiring such operator to collect the fees which become collectible after service of such notice, to deposit such fees in a bank approved by the tax commissioner, in a separate account, in trust for and payable to the tax commissioner, and to keep the amount of such fees in such account until remitted to the tax commissioner. Such notice remains in effect until a notice of cancellation is served on the operator or owner by the tax commissioner.
(6) Whenever the owner of a solid waste disposal facility leases the solid waste facility to an operator, the operator is primarily liable for collection and remittance of the fee imposed by this section and the owner is secondarily liable for remittance of the fee imposed by this section. However, if the operator fails, in whole or in part, to discharge his or her obligations under this section, the owner and the operator of the solid waste facility are jointly and severally responsible and liable for compliance with the provisions of this section.
(7) If the operator or owner responsible for collecting the fee imposed by this section is an association or corporation, the officers thereof are liable, jointly and severally, for any default on the part of the association or corporation, and payment of the fee and any additions to tax, penalties and interest imposed by article ten, chapter eleven of this code may be enforced against them as against the association or corporation which they represent.
(8) Each person disposing of solid waste at a solid waste disposal facility and each person required to collect the fee imposed by this section shall keep complete and accurate records in such form as the tax commissioner may require in accordance with the rules of the tax commissioner.
(c) Regulated motor carriers. -- The fee imposed by this section and section twenty-two, article five, chapter seven of this code is considered a necessary and reasonable cost for motor carriers of solid waste subject to the jurisdiction of the public service commission under chapter twenty-four-a of this code. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, upon thefiling of a petition by an affected motor carrier, the public service commission shall, within fourteen days, reflect the cost of said fee in said motor carrier's rates for solid waste removal service. In calculating the amount of said fee to said motor carrier, the commission shall use the national average of pounds of waste generated per person per day as determined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
(d) Definition of solid waste disposal facility. -- For purposes of this section, the term "solid waste disposal facility" means any approved solid waste facility or open dump in this state, and includes a transfer station when the solid waste collected at the transfer station is not finally disposed of at a solid waste disposal facility within this state that collects the fee imposed by this section. Nothing herein authorizes in any way the creation or operation of or contribution to an open dump.
(e) Exemptions. -- The following transactions are exempt from the fee imposed by this section:
(1) Disposal of solid waste at a solid waste disposal facility by the person who owns, operates or leases the solid waste disposal facility if the facility is used exclusively to dispose of waste originally produced by such person in such person's regular business or personal activities or by persons utilizing the facility on a cost-sharing or nonprofit basis;
(2) Reuse or recycling of any solid waste;
(3) Disposal of residential solid waste by an individual not in the business of hauling or disposing of solid waste on such days and times as designated by the director is exempt from the solid waste assessment fee; and
(4) Disposal of solid waste at a solid waste disposal facility by a commercial recycler which disposes of thirty percent or less of the total waste it processes for recycling. In order to qualify for this exemption each commercial recycler must keep accurate records of incoming and outgoing waste by weight. Such records must be made available to the appropriate inspectors from the division, upon request.
(f) Procedure and administration. -- Notwithstanding section three, article ten, chapter eleven of this code, each and every provision of the "West Virginia Tax Procedure and Administration Act" set forth in article ten, chapter eleven of this code shall apply to the fee imposed by this section with like effect as if said act were applicable only to the fee imposed by this section and were set forth in extenso herein.
(g) Criminal penalties. -- Notwithstanding section two, article nine, chapter eleven of this code, sections three through seventeen, article nine, chapter eleven of this code shall apply to the fee imposed by this section with like effect as if said sections were applicable only to the fee imposed by this section and were set forth in extenso herein.
(h) Dedication of proceeds. -- The net proceeds of the fee collected by the tax commissioner pursuant to this section shall be deposited at least monthly in an account designated by the director. The director shall allocate twenty-five cents for each ton of solid waste disposed of in this state upon which the fee imposed by this section is collected and shall deposit the total amount so allocated into the "Solid Waste Reclamation and Environmental Response Fund" to be expended for the purposes hereinafter specified. The first one million dollars of the net proceeds of the fee imposed by this section collected in each fiscal year shall be deposited in the "Solid Waste Enforcement Fund" and expended for the purposes hereinafter specified. The next two hundred fifty thousand dollars of the net proceeds of the fee imposed by this section collected in each fiscal year shall be deposited in the "Solid Waste Management Board Reserve Fund", and expended for the purposes hereinafter specified: Provided, That in any year in which the water development authority determines that the solid waste management board reserve fund is adequate to defer any contingent liability of the fund, the water development authority shall so certify to the director and the director shall then cause no less than fifty thousand dollars nor more than two hundred fifty thousand dollarsto be deposited to the fund: Provided, however, That in any year in which the water development authority determines that the solid waste management board reserve fund is inadequate to defer any contingent liability of the fund, the water development authority shall so certify to the director and the director shall then cause not less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars nor more than five hundred thousand dollars to be deposited in the fund: Provided further, That if a facility owned or operated by the state of West Virginia is denied site approval by a county or regional solid waste authority, and if such denial contributes, in whole or in part, to a default, or drawing upon a reserve fund, on any indebtedness issued or approved by the solid waste management board, then in that event the solid waste management board or its fiscal agent may withhold all or any part of any funds which would otherwise be directed to such county or regional authority and shall deposit such withheld funds in the appropriate reserve fund. The director shall allocate the remainder, if any, of said net proceeds among the following three special revenue accounts for the purpose of maintaining a reasonable balance in each special revenue account, which are hereby continued in the state treasury:
(1) The "Solid Waste Enforcement Fund" which shall be expended by the director for administration, inspection, enforcement and permitting activities established pursuant to this article;
(2) The "Solid Waste Management Board Reserve Fund" which shall be exclusively dedicated to providing a reserve fund for the issuance and security of solid waste disposal revenue bonds issued by the solid waste management board pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-two-c of this code;
(3) The "Solid Waste Reclamation and Environmental Response Fund" which may be expended by the director for the purposes of reclamation, cleanup and remedial actions intended to minimize or mitigate damage to the environment, natural resources, public water supplies, water resources and the public health, safety and welfare which may result from open dumps or solid waste not disposed of in a proper or lawful manner.
(i) Findings. -- In addition to the purposes and legislative findings set forth in section one of this article, the Legislature finds as follows:
(1) In-state and out-of-state locations producing solid waste should bear the responsibility of disposing of said solid waste or compensate other localities for costs associated with accepting such solid waste;
(2) The costs of maintaining and policing the streets and highways of the state and its communities are increased by long distance transportation of large volumes of solid waste; and
(3) Local approved solid waste facilities are being prematurely depleted by solid waste originating from other locations.
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