Questionable Charleston Tax Issue Coming to End

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Problems with a Charleston tax being charged outside the city will soon be coming to an end.

"The city of Charleston implemented a half-percent sales tax," said Tom Miller. "That tax is being charged outside the city."

That problem is frustrating unsuspecting shoppers.

"It's not very fair," said Lindsay Daniels. "I had no idea. I thought sales tax was always 6 percent."

It begs the question: what is being done to stop it?

"There were a few businesses that came to our attention early, in the first couple of weeks," said David Molgaard.

Molgaard is Charleston's city manager and one of the lead officials for the new "Civic Center" tax.

He says though the tax was passed by the city, hearing complaints and passing them on is about all Charleston can do.

"The city has no enforcement or ability to collect the taxes," Molgaard said.

That answer brought WSAZ to the Capitol to talk with West Virginia's Deputy Secretary of Revenue Mark Muchow. He described the problem as one of geography. Many corporations with out of state offices have been confusing city boundaries.

Thankfully, a phone call to the home office usually resolves the issue in a matter of days.

It's a quick fix to a problem that cost consumers more money, and now, time.

"If the taxpayer see an over-payment and decides to apply for a refund and provides information to justify the refund, then that money is refunded to the taxpayer," Muchow said.

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