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County wants veto on tax bill

February 08, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commission has requested Gov. Joe Manchin veto a bill that has been passed by the Legislature that would reduce the amount of tax people have to pay on vacation homes.

Vacation homes were taxed at a higher Class 3 commercial rate as a result of state legislation passed in 2003 dealing with tax issues, local lawmakers said.

Now there is an effort to return vacation homes to a Class 2 rate.

People in other parts of the state have been pushing to return vacation homes to the Class 2 rate because they face the higher tax on structures like hunting cabins, lawmakers said.

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Local officials have expressed concern about how House bill 4037 would affect the state's Eastern Panhandle.

Many people have bought second homes in the Eastern Panhandle and some people have purchased town houses in the area to simply hold them for a few years and then sell them for a profit, local officials said.

Some officials are concerned that the proposed law is going to hurt full-time residents of the area because their taxes might be increased to offset the revenue that would be lost if House bill 4037 is passed, said Commission member Dale Manuel.

Manuel said Tuesday there was a feeling that the local effects of the bill could be "substantial" but no figures have been compiled.

Manuel said the commission wants Manchin to veto the bill and deal with the issue in a possible special legislative session dealing with taxes.

But Manuel said he doubts Manchin will veto the bill because it had "too much momentum" in the House of Delegates and Senate.

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