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Senate passes amended House Bill 3300

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - House Bill 3300 is now back in the West Virginia House of Delegates-with an amendment that substantially changes the bill the House originally approved.

The bill is likely headed to a House-Senate conference committee, and, in some form, to the full House of Delegates before Saturday night’s deadline for passage of legislation other than the state budget.

The original House bill included no tax increases, while phasing in the governor’s proposed income tax repeal over a decade.

But the Senate bill passed Wednesday night includes the repeal of several exemptions, for items such as computer and digital goods, legal services and health and fitness memberships.

Another part of the amendment, eliminating the tax exemption for certain forms of advertising, led to this exchange between Sen. Mike Woeffel, a Cabell County Democrat, and Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric Tarr.

”We’re taxing advertising from (Charleston TV), aren’t we?”, Woelfel asked Tarr.

“Yes, they are definitely included in this bill,” Tarr replied.

Woelfel: “We’re taxing (Huntington radio), aren’t we?”

Tarr: “The advertising they sell to a West Virginia client is taxed in that.”

Woelfel: “So why aren’t we taxing Google and Facebook on their advertising?”

Tarr: “That’s a question for the body. Anyone had a chance to offer an amendment to this bill, coming out of finance and in finance, and I don’t think that ammendment was offered anywhere along the way as it was presented to the body.”

The bill inclludes other tax increases encouraged by the governor, including a total 33% increase in the state sales tax.

Gov. Jim Justice Thursday praised the Senate’s action, saying it used elements of a revised plan he introduced at a meeting Monday with legislative leaders.

The Senate, meantime, also amended the state budget bill, restoring some earlier budget cuts, including cuts to West Virginia University and Marshall University.

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