Legislature to convene January 13
The WV Legislature will begin its regular 60-day session January 13, and
remain in session until midnight, March 12. WVDA will keep members
informed of issues important to dental practices and oral health. Members
are reminded to look for E-NEWS from WVDA in their email.
Taxes on the table?
Every legislative session “hints” of taxes being imposed. However, chances
of taxes being imposed in 2016 are probable with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
telling the news media today the state is facing a $350 million downturn in
revenues instead of the $250 million originally projected.
“Although the state is not in the dire need it was in the 80’s when we couldn’t
pay providers for PEIA and Medicaid claims, we will have a revenue shortfall
that calls for responsible action in maintaining financial stability,” he said.
He reported a 7.5% reduction in spending that was implemented mid-year 2015,
implying there isn’t much room to cut expenditures without harming programs.
He related severance taxes have suffered greater than anticipated because of
reduction in coal and natural gas production.
The Governor will announce his proposed action plan during his “State of the
State” address the evening of January 13. A tax on tobacco may be on the
table, according to Governor Tomblin.
More about taxes
Over 20 city governments around the state have announced a 1% sales tax
being imposed on purchases of goods and services. The actions are being
taken because of “home rule” passed by the Legislature, allowing a sales tax
if a city reduces its “business and occupation” (B&O) tax. The reason for
“home rule” was to increase businesses in municipalities.
WVDA Executive Director Richard Stevens discussed the taxes with the
WV Municipal League yesterday, and learned that only those products and
services currently taxed by the State are subject to a city sales tax. If the
state doesn’t tax a particular good or service now, a city cannot impose a
sales tax on that good or service, said Lisa Dooley, CEO of the League.
Dooley also said the city must reduce its B&O tax if it imposes a sales tax.
That is not to say every type of B&O tax has to be reduced. For example,
the City of Charleston has 14 different B&O tax rates depending upon the
type of business. The B&O tax rate multiplier on retailers is 0.005 of gross
receipts while the B&O tax rate multiplier on Services is 0.01 in Charleston.
A city is not likely to reduce a B&O tax on a business that is not impacted
by the new sales tax, Dooley suggested.
WVDA members were mailed their 2016 membership dues statements in
December. Dues were payable January 1, 2016. Dentists not receiving a
membership statement are requested to send their name and address to
firstname.lastname@example.org so a statement may be mailed them.