H. B. 2359
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss)
(Originating in the House Committee on Finance.)
[February 19, 2003]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections twelve-b and twenty-two,
article three, chapter twenty-nine of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
all relating to the fire marshal fees fund; eliminating the
transfer of ten percent of the fees collected by the state
fire marshal to general revenue; and transferring a portion of
the insurance company tax to the fund.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections twelve-b and twenty-two, article three, chapter
twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as
ARTICLE 3. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.
(a) The state fire marshal may establish fees in accordance with the following:
(1) For blasting. -- Any person storing, selling or using
explosives shall first obtain a permit from the state fire marshal.
The permit shall be valid for one year. The state fire marshal may
charge a fee for the permit.
(2) For inspections of schools or day-care facilities. -- The
state fire marshal may charge a fee of up to twenty-five dollars
per annual inspection for inspection of schools or day-care
facilities: Provided, That only one such fee may be charged per
year for any building in which a school and a day-care facility are
colocated: Provided, however, That any school or day care facility
may not be charged for an inspection more than one time per
(3) For inspections of hospitals or nursing homes. -- The
state fire marshal may charge an inspection fee of up to one
hundred dollars per annual inspection of hospitals or nursing
homes: Provided, That any hospital or nursing home may not be
charged for an inspection more than one time per twelve-month
(4) For inspections of personal care homes or board and care
facilities. -- The state fire marshal may charge an inspection fee
of up to fifty dollars per annual inspection for inspections of
personal care homes or board and care facilities: Provided, That
any personal care home or board and care facility may not be charged for an inspection more than one time per twelve-month
(5) For inspections of residential occupancies. -- The state
fire marshal may charge an inspection fee of up to one hundred
dollars for each inspection of a residential occupancy. For
purposes of this subdivision, "residential occupancies" are those
buildings in which sleeping accommodations are provided for normal
(6) For inspections of mercantile occupancies. -- The state
fire marshal may charge an inspection fee of up to one hundred
dollars for inspections of mercantile occupancies: Provided, That
if the inspection is in response to a complaint made by a member of
the public, the state fire marshal shall obtain from the
complainant an advance inspection fee of twenty-five dollars. This
fee shall be returned to the complainant if, after the state fire
marshal has made the inspection, he or she finds that the complaint
was accurate and justified, and he or she shall thereafter collect
an inspection fee of up to one hundred dollars from the mercantile
occupancy. If, after the inspection has been performed, it appears
to the state fire marshal that the complaint was not accurate or
justified, the state fire marshal shall keep the twenty-five dollar
advance inspection fee obtained from the complainant and may not
collect any fees from the mercantile occupant. For purposes of
this section, "mercantile occupancy" includes stores, markets and other rooms, buildings or structures for the display and sale of
(7) For business occupancies. -- The state fire marshal may
charge an inspection fee of up to one hundred dollars for
inspections of business occupancies: Provided, That the provisions
in subdivision (6) of this section shall apply regarding complaints
by members of the public. For purposes of this section, "business
occupancies" are those buildings used for the transaction of
business, other than mercantile occupancies, for the keeping of
accounts and records and similar purposes.
(8) For inspections of assembly occupancies. -- The state
fire marshal may charge an inspection fee not more than one time
per twelve-month period for the inspection of assembly occupancies.
The inspection fee shall be assessed as follows: For Class C
assembly facilities, an inspection fee not to exceed fifty dollars;
for Class B assembly facilities, an inspection fee not to exceed
seventy-five dollars; and for Class A facilities, an inspection fee
not to exceed one hundred dollars.
For purposes of this subdivision, an "assembly occupancy"
includes, but is not limited to, all buildings or portions of
buildings used for gathering together fifty or more persons for
such purposes as deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating,
drinking, amusement or awaiting transportation. For purposes of
this section, a "Class C assembly facility" is one that accommodates fifty to three hundred persons; a "Class B facility"
is one which accommodates more than three hundred persons but less
than one thousand persons; and a "Class A facility" is one which
accommodates more than one thousand persons.
(b) The state fire marshal may collect fees for the fire
safety review of plans and specifications for new and existing
construction. Fees shall be paid by the party or parties receiving
(1) Structural barriers and fire safety plans review. -- The
fee is one dollar for each one thousand dollars of construction
cost up to the first one million dollars. Thereafter, the fee is
forty cents for each one thousand dollars of construction cost.
(2) Sprinkler system review. -- The fee charged for the
review of an individual sprinkler system is as follows: Number of
heads: One to two hundred -- eighty-five dollars; two hundred one
to three hundred -- one hundred dollars; three hundred one to seven
hundred fifty -- one hundred twenty dollars; over seven hundred
fifty -- one hundred twenty dollars plus ten cents per head over
seven hundred fifty.
(3) Fire alarm systems review. -- The fee charged for the
review of a fire alarm system is fifty dollars for each ten
thousand square feet of space with a fifty dollar minimum charge.
(4) Range hood extinguishment system review. -- The fee is
twenty-five dollars per individual system reviewed.
(5) Carpet specifications. -- The fee for carpet review and
approval is twenty dollars per installation.
(c) All fees authorized and collected pursuant to this article
and article three-b of this chapter shall be paid to the state fire
marshal and thereafter deposited into
a the special account
appropriated by the Legislature for the operation of the state fire
commission in administering this article and article three-b of
this chapter. Beginning on the first day of July, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-two, and every fiscal year thereafter, at the
end of each fiscal year there shall be transferred from the special
account, to the general revenue fund of the state, ten percent of
all money collected by the fire marshal during the year: Provided ,
That any balance remaining in the special account at the end of any
fiscal year, after the transfer of the ten percent, shall be
reappropriated to the next fiscal year: Provided, however , That in
addition to said ten percent, amounts collected which are found
from time to time to exceed the funds needed for purposes for which
the fees are collected may be transferred to other accounts or
redesignated for other purposes by appropriation of the
Legislature. in the state treasury known as the "fire marshal fees
fund." Expenditures from the fund shall be for the purposes set
forth in this article and articles three-b and three-c of this
chapter and are not authorized from collections but are to be made
only in accordance with appropriation by the Legislature and in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twelve of
this code and upon fulfillment of the provisions of article two,
chapter five-a of this code. Any balance remaining in the special
account at the end of any fiscal year shall be reappropriated to
the next fiscal year.
(d) If the owner or occupant of any occupancy arranges a time
and place for an inspection with the state fire marshal and is not
ready for the occupancy to be inspected at the appointed time and
place, the owner or occupant thereof shall be charged the
inspection fee provided in this section unless at least forty-eight
hours prior to the scheduled inspection the owner or occupant
requests the state fire marshal to reschedule the inspection. In
the event a second inspection is required by the state fire marshal
as a result of the owner or occupant failing to be ready for the
inspection when the state fire marshal arrives, the state fire
marshal shall charge the owner or occupant of the occupancy the
inspection fees set forth above for each inspection trip required.
(e) The fees provided for in this section shall remain in
effect until such time as the Legislature has approved rules
promulgated by the state fire marshal, in accordance with the
provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code,
establishing a schedule of fees for services.
§29-3-22. Tax on insurance companies.
Every insurance company doing business in this state, except farmers' mutual fire insurance companies, shall pay to the state
insurance commissioner annually on or before the first day of
March, in addition to the taxes now required by law to be paid by
the companies, one half of one percent of the taxable premiums of
the companies on insurance against the hazard of fire and on that
portion of all other taxable premiums reasonably applicable to
insurance against the hazard of fire which are included in other
coverages, and received by it for insurance on property or risks in
this state during the calendar year next preceding as shown by
their annual statement under oath to the insurance department. The
money so received by the state insurance commissioner is paid by
him or her into the treasury and credited to the
special revenue fund created in section twelve (b) of this article.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would