(a) Imposition. -- Effective July 1, 1989, a solid waste assessment fee is hereby levied and imposed upon the disposal of solid waste at any solid waste disposal facility in this state to be collected at the rate of $1 per ton or part thereof of solid waste. The fee imposed by this section is in addition to all other fees levied by law.
(b) Collection, return, payment and record. -- The person disposing of solid waste at the solid waste disposal facility shall pay the fee imposed by this section, whether or not such person owns the solid waste, and the fee shall be collected by the operator of the solid waste facility who shall remit it to the Tax Commissioner.
(1) The fee imposed by this section accrues at the time the solid waste is delivered to the solid waste disposal facility.
(2) The operator shall remit the fee imposed by this section to the Tax Commissioner on or before the fifteenth day of the month next succeeding the month in which the fee accrued. Upon remittance of the fee, the operator is required to file returns on forms and in the manner as prescribed by the Tax Commissioner.
(3) The operator shall account to the state for all fees collected under this section and shall hold them in trust for the state until they are remitted to the Tax Commissioner.
(4) If any operator fails to collect the fee imposed by this section, he or she is personally liable for such amount as he or she failed to collect, plus applicable additions to tax, penalties and interest imposed by article ten, chapter eleven of this code.
(5) Whenever any operator fails to collect, truthfully account for, remit the fee or file returns with the fee as required in this section, the Tax Commissioner may serve written notice requiring such operator to collect the fees which become collectible after service of such notice, to deposit such fees in a bank approved by the Tax Commissioner, in a separate account, in trust for and payable to the Tax Commissioner, and to keep the amount of such fees in such account until remitted to the Tax Commissioner. Such notice remains in effect until a notice of cancellation is served on the operator or owner by the Tax Commissioner.
(6) Whenever the owner of a solid waste disposal facility leases the solid waste facility to an operator, the operator is primarily liable for collection and remittance of the fee imposed by this section and the owner is secondarily liable for remittance of the fee imposed by this section. However, if the operator fails, in whole or in part, to discharge his or her obligations under this section, the owner and the operator of the solid waste facility are jointly and severally responsible and liable for compliance with the provisions of this section.
(7) If the operator or owner responsible for collecting the fee imposed by this section is an association or corporation, the officers thereof are liable, jointly and severally, for any default on the part of the association or corporation, and payment of the fee and any additions to tax, penalties and interest imposed by article ten, chapter eleven of this code may be enforced against them as against the association or corporation which they represent.
(8) Each person disposing of solid waste at a solid waste disposal facility and each person required to collect the fee imposed by this section shall keep complete and accurate records in such form as the Tax Commissioner may require in accordance with the rules of the Tax Commissioner.
(c) Regulated motor carriers. -- The fee imposed by this section and section twenty-two, article five, chapter seven of this code is a necessary and reasonable cost for motor carriers of solid waste subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission under chapter twenty-four-a of this code. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, upon the filing of a petition by an affected motor carrier, the Public Service Commission shall, within fourteen days, reflect the cost of said fee in said motor carrier's rates for solid waste removal service. In calculating the amount of said fee to said motor carrier, the commission shall use the national average of pounds of waste generated per person per day as determined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
(d) Definition of solid waste disposal facility. -- For purposes of this section, the term "solid waste disposal facility" means any approved solid waste facility or open dump in this state and includes a transfer station when the solid waste collected at the transfer station is not finally disposed of at a solid waste facility within this state that collects the fee imposed by this section. Nothing herein authorizes in any way the creation or operation of or contribution to an open dump.
(e) Exemptions. -- The following transactions are exempt from the fee imposed by this section:
(1) Disposal of solid waste at a solid waste disposal facility by the person who owns, operates or leases the solid waste disposal facility if it is used exclusively to dispose of waste originally produced by such person in such person's regular business or personal activities or by persons utilizing the facility on a cost-sharing or nonprofit basis;
(2) Reuse or recycling of any solid waste;
(3) Disposal of residential solid waste by an individual not in the business of hauling or disposing of solid waste on such days and times as designated by the director of the Division of Environmental Protection as exempt from the fee imposed pursuant to section eleven, article fifteen, chapter twenty-two of this code; and
(4) Disposal of solid waste at a solid waste disposal facility by a commercial recycler which disposes of thirty percent or less of the total waste it processes for recycling. In order to qualify for this exemption each commercial recycler must keep accurate records of incoming and outgoing waste by weight. Such records must be made available to the appropriate inspectors from the Division of Environmental Protection of solid waste authority, upon request.
(f) Procedure and administration. -- Notwithstanding section three, article ten, chapter eleven of this code, each and every provision of the "West Virginia Tax Procedure and Administration Act" set forth in article ten, chapter eleven of this code applies to the fee imposed by this section with like effect as if said act were applicable only to the fee imposed by this section and were set forth in extenso herein.
(g) Criminal penalties. -- Notwithstanding section two, article nine, chapter eleven of this code, sections three through seventeen, article nine, chapter eleven of this code apply to the fee imposed by this section with like effect as if said sections were the only fee imposed by this section and were set forth in extenso herein.
(h) Dedication of proceeds. -- The net proceeds of the fee collected by the Tax Commissioner pursuant to this section shall be deposited, at least monthly, in a special revenue account known as the "Solid Waste Planning Fund" which is hereby continued. The solid waste management board shall allocate the proceeds of the said fund as follows:
(1) Fifty percent of the total proceeds shall be divided equally among, and paid over to, each county solid waste authority to be expended for the purposes of this article: Provided, That where a regional solid waste authority exists, such funds shall be paid over to the regional solid waste authority to be expended for the purposes of this article in an amount equal to the total share of all counties within the jurisdiction of said regional solid waste authority; and
(2) Fifty percent of the total proceeds shall be expended by the solid waste management board for:
(A) Grants to the county or regional solid waste authorities for the purposes of this article; and
(B) Administration, technical assistance or other costs of the solid waste management board necessary to implement the purposes of this article and article three of this chapter.
(i) Effective date. -- This section is effective on July 1, 1990.