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Inventory tax not a direct deterrent to local business

(KEVN)
Published: Mar. 9, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT
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The Wood County Commission Monday approved a limited inventory tax exemption for a Davisville manufacturer.

The exemption allows metal fabrication company Danser to install new equipment with a pledge by the company for more jobs.

The commission discussed with Wood County Development Director Lindsey Kerr Piersol the legislature's failure this session to approve elimination of the inventory tax on businesses.

Piersol says the tax has not so far been an issue with companies seeking to come to the local area.

"If it's down to us and somebody else," she said, "and that's the final straw, sure, that might affect it. But just on its own, I don't think it's a huge deterrent. Right now, we have someone talking to us about buying $2 million in equipment, that would add employees. (But) the only one we've done besides Danser is Wincore in 2016."

While lawmakers and Governor Jim Justice patted themselves on the back for this year's just-concluded session, Commission President Blair Couch thought otherwise.

Couch noted there was no action on a desire by Wood and other counties to approve a 1% sales tax, similar to what Parkersburg and other cities can impose.

The failure of the inventory tax repeal was, in part, the result of opposition by counties concerned about how it would affect state tax dollars local governments receive.

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