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Resolving tangible personal property tax


As a constitutional tax, authority to advance legislative action or change the taxation of tangible personal property in the state ultimately rests with lawmakers and West Virginia voters. However, solutions and adjustments to intricate tax laws are easiest to consider when decisionmakers have access to impacts, facts and stakeholder perspectives, since tax changes do not operate as simple toggle switch choices. Through an analysis of research, assessment of tax policy best practices, a series of fact-finding efforts and input from stakeholders, WV Forward, in collaboration with experts, is producing a written overview of this tax policy.

inventory tax

Moving wv Forward

Person doing their taxes.

The Report on Resolving Tangible Personal Property Tax

A working document prepared by WV Forward, in collaboration with West Virginia University, offers a data-driven, nonpartisan, objective policy considerations on the taxation of tangible personal property in West Virginia.

West Virginia's outlier status

West Virginia’s outlier status in taxing business inventory as part of tangible personal property is pinpointed as a competitive disadvantage in the WV Forward blueprint. And since businesses can simply relocate their property and operations to the majority of states that do not impose TPP taxes, they not always an optimal way of raise revenue.

United States map of states that use tangible personal property tax on business inventory. West Virginia is fully taxed.

Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Vermont are fully taxed. Michigan, Alaska, and Massachusetts are only partially taxed and the rest of United States not listed previously does not tax. 

Finding the right balance to protect local municipalities 

There’s a need to find a balanced solution to improving West Virginia’s business climate while valuing the revenues of counties, schools and municipalities that account for 1/3 of West Virginia’s property tax. In some cases, these taxes constitute the largest source of revenue.

Revenue Generated From TPP in WV, 2018 TAX YEAR: 


$523.9 MILLION.

Allocation of Personal Property Tax Collections in WV - 2018 Tax Year

Allocation of personal property tax collections, 2018 tax year. Schools get 65.3%, County gets 27.2%, Municipal gets .4% and state gets 7.1%. 

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*Citations available upon request.