Ashton Marra Published

Tax Reform Committee Discusses More Problems, Few Solutions


The Joint Committee on Tax Reform held their final meeting before a July break Monday in Charleston, continuing their comprehensive review of the state’s tax code.

Panels of both county assessors and sheriffs discussed the state’s property tax system. A separate panel of attorneys and an accountant described the nuances of the state’s severance taxes for coal, natural gas and timber.

Still, three months into the process, lawmakers have discussed more problems with the tax code than solutions.

House Finance Chair Eric Neslon said the committee’s review process is deliberately slow so members have a real understanding of the tax code before they begin to suggest changes; however, he still expects at least some of those changes to be made during the 2016 session.

“I would hope that we would come with something before session begins. Will that be an all encompassing tax redo? I would probably say doubtful,” he said after the meeting.

The committee will take a break for the month of July and start meeting again in August. The two meetings that month will focus on sales and personal income taxes, and the state road fund.