CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state’s new tax and revenue secretary says West Virginia could learn a $100-million lesson about tax credits.

“Tax credits, while they may have a purpose and function in very limited situations, generally are not a good idea for a state, particularly a state like West Virginia which has limited resources to begin with,” said Bob Kiss.

On Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Kiss talked about the Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles tax credit which is still costing the state big, even after part of it has been repealed.

In 2011, the Legislature approved allowing a credit of 35 percent of the purchase price, up to $7,500, for vehicles that used compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas or ethanol.

That legislation also extended the tax credit to those buying vehicles equipped to burn flex fuels, like ethanol and gasoline mixes. The vehicles did not have to run on those flex fuels, just be capable of doing so.

Earlier this year, the Legislature changed that part of the law because of the number of vehicles that meet the criteria while still being fueled by gasoline. The credit for flex-fuel vehicles expired on April 14.

“The good news, in terms of what I saw when I started evaluating it, is that the course going in the wrong direction was recognized and was closed and dealt with,” said Kiss. “The problem is there’s a runoff period.”

To date, the tax credit has cost West Virginia $30 million and some state financial analysts estimated it could reach $100 million as residents learn about the credit and file amended tax returns to get it.

So far, more than 90 percent of the credits claimed have been for flex-fuel vehicles.

The tax credits for vehicles that run on natural gas are still in place.

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Comments

  • upset

    Can we still claim flex fuel automobiles or not?

  • Luke Foster

    I purchased a vehicle in may of 2013 that would have qualified for this tax credit. When I researched this in may the truck qualified but it was changed in august. So because of the repeal in august and the wrong information available in may 2013 it has led me to a costly mistake purchase. If repealed in aug 2014 the cut off date needs to be august not april.

  • MT

    how bout a flat tax for all, then there is no more crap bout unfairness, we ALL pay the same tax on everything.

  • john

    The tax base should not involve values of vehicles

  • rich

    Check on who pushed for extending the fuel credits to flex fuel and other vehicles. It was Republicans. Granted both parties voted for it and the Democratic Governor signed it, but it was a Republican initiative. Just like their push to give credits for "surplus" inventory, which will cost counties millions in revenue. Talk to your local assessor. In the past 10 years, tax credits have shifted the tax burden overwhelmingly from businesses to individuals.

  • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

    Well gee, why don't we ask all of the state and county employees to park the darn govt vehicles they drive to and from work to home every day. These perks need to end. I find it hard to believe during these tough times that state employees still take cars home, shop, take their kids to school, run errands, eat at restaurants all on the taxpayers dime. This needs to stop immediately. Stop picking in taxpayers with flex fuel vehicles and start cleaning up your own backyard. Geez, and Gov Tomblin agrees with this perk? Go figure. Look at how much gas and maintenance costs we would save each year if this perk was abolished.

    • Jeffrey

      State employees aren't allowed to use state vehicles for personal business. If you know of someone doing it call the state department of administration and report them.

      • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

        Jeff, we have done that reporting. Gave the state license number and vehicle description and it still continues today!

        • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

          It burns me up that my taxes are being used to fund a vehicle for a state employee to use for their daily life. Nobody monitors their use and reporting them goes without action. I guarantee that 75% of state employees don't need to take state owned vehicles home at nite. When will the governor do something about this perk laden program?!!! It happens right here in Berkeley County every day as well.

  • Levelheaded

    Keep voting for these liberal Dems, folks.

  • DWL

    Yet another leftist, liberal, tree hugging screw up. Welcome to liberal politics. They play – we pay!