CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia small business owner is encouraging state lawmakers to pass a resolution that would phase out the state’s inventory tax.

Logan Hartle with the Warwood Tool Company in Wheeling said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline” he supports Governor Jim Justice’s plan to phase out the tax on
industrial equipment, machinery and inventory over a seven year period starting in the year 2020.

Hartle said the tax has been a burden on him and his small staff.

“This affects us. We have 16 employees, two of them are owners of the company, so there are 14 people we are employing. We are not a large company and it affects us with around $500 or so per employee,” he said.

Warwood Tool Company is a 163-year old union labor forging shop that produces 100 percent American-made hand tools.

Hartle said they get taxed on supplies even if they don’t make money off of them.

“We get taxed on the steel, we get taxed when it’s sitting there, we get taxed when we sell it, whether it sits there or not. It’s not only a competitiveness from the state level, but a competitiveness from our level,” he said.

Warwood has a lot of big items that are being taxed, Hartle added.

“These machines aren’t lawn mowers and small machines that cost $3,000 or $4,000. They’re hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery in these companies that are being taxed, so it adds up very quickly,” he said.

Hartle said it’s a competitive business they must keep up with.

“It’s incredibly difficult to stay on your toes. This type of money every year would allow us to invest in new products and allow us to invest in new industries to try to remain competitive,” he said.

To eliminate the tax, it would require a change in the State Constitution. To achieve that, the House of Delegates and Senate would have to pass a resolution by two-thirds vote and then state voters would have to approve the change.

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