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Charleston Daily Mail
Lawmakers do tax reform – part II May 14, 2015 by joelebert West Virginia’s tax reform classes will once again commence this coming Monday and the syllabus has been posted. With about five hours of presentations scheduled, lawmakers will hear from in-state and out-of-state experts. Here’s the lineup: 9 a.m. – Academic Panel on Tax Reform Speakers: Dr. Jose V. “Zito” Sartarelli, Dean, College of Business and Economics, WVU Dr. John Deskins, Director, Bureau Business and Economic Research, WVU Dr. Jennifer Shand, Director, Center of Business and Economic Research, Marshall University 10:30 a.m. – Overview of State Tax Issues Speakers: Joseph Henchman, Vice President of State Projects, Tax Foundation Jared Walczak, Policy Analyst, Tax Foundation Noon – Lunch 1 p.m. – Perspectives on West Virginia Tax Structure and Reform Speaker: Ferdinand S. Hogroian, Senior Tax & Legislative Counsel, Council on State Taxation 2:30 p.m. – Trends and Tax Reform Efforts in Other States Speaker: Mandy Rafool, Fiscal Affairs Policy Staff, National Conference of State Legislatures The state Department of Revenue has often cited studies and reports from the Tax Foundation so it is no surprise that they will be involved in the presentation. You can see their information on West Virginia here. Republican leaders in the Legislature turned to the National Conference of State Legislatures prior their takeover of the statehouse in January for training and workshops so their invitation comes as little surprise as well. The Council on State Taxation, which describes itself as a nonprofit trade association based in Washington, D.C., laid out its list of legislative targets for 2015 in a report released on March 18. Here are the organization’s West Virginia targets. Seek de minimis exclusion for property taxes Equalize interest rates for underpayments and overpayments of taxes, including property taxes Put all property tax and exemption forms on a centralized website Seek repeal of MTC audit authority (income) Repeal tax haven language Eliminate any prepayment requirements to initially dispute a tax assessment Provide clear definition of “final determination” triggering requirement to report federal tax changes Increase time for filing a federal change to at least 180 days from final determination Eliminate business to business transactions from the definition of unclaimed property Shorten statute of limitations for unclaimed property reporting and liability from 10 years to 3 – 5 years Ban contingent fee audits of unclaimed property Exempt gift cards and gift certificates from the definition of unclaimed property Allow unclaimed property disputes to be resolved before an independent tribunal Enact legislation allowing FOC 80/20 exclusion Seek legislation to enact separate filings, or make MUCR elective Enact legislation allowing corporations to elect to file based on the federal consolidated group COST also graded West Virginia in several categories: Property tax administration overall grade: C- Transparency: C Simplicity and Consistency: C Procedural Fairness: D State tax administration overall grade: B Unclaimed property statutes overall grade: C- Sales Taxation of Services and Business Inputs Study Estimated percentage of state and local sales taxes imposed on business input purchases: 29% State and Local Business Tax Competitiveness Index Weighted Capital Investment Rank: 42 Jobs Rank: 41 Audio from the meeting will be live streamed at www.legis.state.wv.us/live.cfm. All the supporting documents for the Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform can be found here.