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Senate passes 3 local tax bills

April 08, 2006|By TAMELA BAKER

Three local tax bills cleared the Senate on Friday, assuring they will become law.

The Senate unanimously approved bills to:

· Allow Washington County businesses to count contract workers employed for at least a year toward tax credits offered to new or expanding businesses that create new jobs.

· Permit the county commissioners to issue property tax credits for fiscal year 2007, which begins July 1.

· Revise legislation authorizing the county's excise tax on new development to permit the county to waive the tax on certain new businesses, and to require the county to waive the tax for existing businesses wishing to expand facilities up to 50,000 feet.

County officials had attempted this week to persuade the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to amend the excise tax bill to exclude waivers for retail businesses, but local lawmakers resisted the request. But because the bill has been amended, it will need another vote by the full House of Delegates to become law. The House Ways and Means Committee on Friday afternoon recommended a favorable vote on the bill.

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Also Friday, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee gave a favorable report to a bill sponsored by Del. LeRoy E. Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, to allow retired correctional officers to temporarily return to state prisons to help fill staffing needs. It now requires a vote by the full Senate.

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