CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Retailers Association is pleased with a change of heart by Governor Jim Justice. This week the Justice Administration announced a change in tax policy in which internet companies who do business in the Mountain State will have to collect and remit West Virginia sales tax for online purchases, even though those companies have no brick and mortar presence in the Mountain State. . Earlier this year, Governor Justice announced he would oppose the change out of a concern for putting another burdensome tax on consumers.
However, Bridget Lambert, President of the Retailers Association, said it was good to see the Administration take a fresh look at the policy.
“Once everyone became educated on this, it was something a lot of states are looking at seriously including West Virginia and it’s something the Retailers Association has been looking at for several years,” Lambert explained.
Governor Justice admitted the change of policy came as he had a chance to look deeper at the issue.
“After I made my comments earlier this year I had the opportunity to talk to several retail stakeholders and realized that by not collecting these taxes we were creating an unfair disadvantage to main street businesses in West Virginia,” said the Governor in a statement released by his office. “By collecting sales tax on transactions with out-of-state internet retailers we level the playing field for our local businesses.”
“The result of this new policy with the West Virginia Tax Department will give West Virginia retailers a level playing field,” Lambert said.
The new tax collections will start on January 1, 2019.