CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Former state Secretary of Tax and Revenue Rob Capehart is set to become counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.
Capehart was Revenue Secretary during Gov. Cecil Underwood’s 1996-2000 administration. During that time, he served as chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Fair Taxation, which conducted an extensive review of West Virginia’s taxation structure, aiming for comprehensive changes.
The 1,000-page report concluded West Virginia’s local and state tax structure is over-complicated and rooted in an early 20th-century economy.
The report also concluded that reform efforts in the state would be most beneficial if they focused on broadening the tax base and lowering rates.
Writing last year on Medium while legislators debated changes to the state tax code, Capehart said West Virginia’s current structure is not a reflection of its economic structure.
“The current structure does not account for the shift in the state’s economy, which has shifted from a dependence on manufacturing and mining companies to those that are more service-oriented.”
After Capehart’s time in the Underwood administration, he served as the 33rd president of West Liberty University in Ohio County.
Most recently, Capehart has been a senior resident fellow for the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia and president of Georgetown Solutions in Wheeling.
His position as counsel for the Senate Finance Committee was announced by its new chairman, Senator Craig Blair, R-Berkeley.
“We are truly fortunate to be able to add such a seasoned veteran to our team who has the experience in government finance, taxation, and educational finance that can bring a critical eye to the state’s budget as we look for efficiencies and ways to streamline our spending,” Blair stated in a news release.
Senate President Mitch Carmichael praised the choice of Capehart.
“We are fortunate to have the services of an attorney with such a wide background and excellent qualifications as Rob Capehart,” Carmichael stated.
“As we advance an agenda that is designed to create jobs and opportunities for the citizens of West Virginia, it is important that world-class people help us achieve this goal. I look forward to utilizing the wisdom and expertise of Rob to help guide us in these critical issues.”