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West Virginia Seeks to Address Burdensome Taxes on Companies

Robin Capehart

As the former president of West Liberty University, Robin Capehart oversaw numerous initiatives to improve the institution's infrastructure. He guided the renovation of Shaw Hall and the construction of a women’s soccer complex. Prior to his endeavors with West Liberty University, Robin Capehart served as the Secretary of Tax and Revenue in West Virginia. He currently leverages his background to advocate for tax reform in the state.

An area in which Mr. Capehart has been actively involved is in seeking to eliminate the state business taxes on inventory, equipment, and machinery. A burden on traditional manufacturing companies, the existence of such laws has dissuaded some businesses from entering the state. Many of the neighboring states do not place taxes on machinery tied to capital investments that help to improve operations and extend capacity. In fact, the taxation of business inventory is relatively rare nationwide.
As explained by the West Virginia state legislature’s Senate President Mitch Carmichael, a priority of the current state Senate is to create a consensus centered on progressive tax reform that would eliminate the majority of personal property taxes. This would encompass both the taxes that residents pay on their possessions, such as automobiles, as well as the business taxes assessed on inventory, equipment, and machinery. Discussion of this reform proposal is expected to be the centerpiece of the regular legislative session in early 2018.

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