*** W.Va. Tax Modernization Project seeks public proposals

By The West Virginia Record | Nov 5, 2009

CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Department of Revenue Secretary Virgil T. Helton and Tax Commissioner Christopher G. Morris have announced that the West Virginia Tax Modernization Project will share initial project proposals and will seek public input and ideas to modernize and improve West Virginia taxes.

CHARLESTON -- West Virginia Department of Revenue Secretary Virgil T. Helton and Tax Commissioner Christopher G. Morris have announced that the West Virginia Tax Modernization Project will share initial project proposals and will seek public input and ideas to modernize and improve West Virginia taxes.

The West Virginia Tax Modernization Project, chaired by Commissioner Morris, will hold a public meeting on Nov. 20 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center, located at 200 Lee Street East in downtown Charleston.

Preliminary proposals developed by the Tax Modernization Project will be discussed for additional study, and the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposals and to submit their oral or written tax modernization ideas and proposals at the meeting, or by emailing proposals to wvtmp@wv.gov.

"Tax Modernization Project members have finished reviewing the recommendations from the 2006 report that have not yet been adopted," Secretary Helton said. "Now we're asking the public, private enterprise and labor to help explore changes that will further improve West Virginia's tax structure."

The goal of the Tax Modernization Project is to improve and modernize West Virginia taxation. With this goal in mind the following four areas have been identified as possible areas to focus on next:

* Telecommunications tax changes;

* Senior Citizen Tax Credit simplification;

* Personal Income Tax changes for low income families; and

* Other tax issues such as property tax and interest on tax and other assessments.

"Internal subcommittees have been formed and have begun to research their areas of expertise. At the November 20th meeting, these subcommittees will present their ideas on four areas that the Tax Modernization Project has previously identified as areas in need of change," Chairman Morris said. "We're encouraging the public to comment on these areas and to submit any other proposals as we seek to introduce changes for tax modernization and improvement during the upcoming legislative session."

In 2006, Governor Manchin developed the West Virginia Tax Modernization Project to improve taxation in West Virginia. Based upon the 2006 report to the Governor, numerous policy and State tax code changes have occurred resulting in tax rate reductions, elimination of certain taxes, a simplified State tax structure, and a more efficient and fair tax system in the State.

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