H. B. 2915
(By Delegates Eldridge, Manchin, Argento,
Stowers, Perry, Rodighiero and Marshall)
[Introduced March 3, 2009; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §11-15-7b; and to
amend and reenact §29-3-24 of said code, all relating to
authorizing the sale of prohibited fireworks; requiring the
sales tax on fireworks to be ten percent; and establishing a
special fund that distributes the firework sales tax proceeds
equally to each West Virginia volunteer fire department.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §11-15-7b; and that
§29-3-24 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.
ARTICLE 15. CONSUMERS SALES AND SERVICE TAX.
§11-15-7b. Sales tax on fireworks; volunteer fire department
fireworks fund created; allocation of proceeds.
(a) There is levied and imposed on the sale of fireworks, as
authorized by section twenty-four, article three, chapter
twenty-nine of this code, a sales tax at the rate of ten percent of
the purchase price on all fireworks. The Tax Commissioner shall
collect and disburse all moneys from the firework sales tax to the
"volunteer fire department fireworks fund" as provided in
subsection (b) of this section.
(b) There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special
nonrevolving revenue fund to be known as "the volunteer fire
department fireworks fund," into which shall be paid a portion of
all funds derived from the sales tax provided in this section. The
proceeds of this tax and the interest thereon, shall be distributed
annually on or before January 1, to each volunteer fire company or
department on an equal share basis by the State Treasurer.
CHAPTER 29. MISCELLANEOUS BOARDS AND OFFICERS.
ARTICLE 3. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.
§29-3-24. Unlawful sale, possession or use of fireworks; permit
for public display.
Except as hereinafter provided, no person, firm, co-partnership or corporation shall offer for sale, possess, expose
for sale, sell at retail, keep with intent to sell at retail, or
use or explode any fireworks: Provided, That fireworks may be sold
in West Virginia if a ten percent sales tax accompanies the sale of
these fireworks and the sales tax proceeds are disbursed equally to
each volunteer fire department in West Virginia: Provided,
however, That the State Fire Marshal may adopt reasonable rules
regulations for the granting of permits for the supervised displays
of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks,
and other organizations or groups of individuals. The State Fire
Marshal shall have has the authority to charge a fee of $10 to each
applicant requesting a license to be a pyrotechnic operator as set
forth in this article. The State Fire Marshal shall charge a
scaled fee for all applications requesting permits to establish a
pyrotechnics display as provided in this section. All fees
required to be paid by the provisions of this section shall be paid
to the State Fire Marshal and thereafter deposited by him or her
into a special account for the operation of the state Fire
Commission. Such These permits may be granted upon application to
said the State Fire Marshal and after approval of the local police
and fire authorities of the community wherein the display is
proposed to be held as provided herein and the filing of a bond by the applicant as provided hereinafter. Every such display shall be
handled by a competent operator licensed or certified as to
competency by the State Fire Marshal and shall be of such the
composition, character, and so located, discharged or fired as in
the opinion of the chief of the fire department, after proper
inspection, and of the chief of police as to not be hazardous to
property or endanger any person or persons. After such this
privilege shall have been is granted, the sale, possession, use and
distribution of fireworks for such this display shall be is lawful
for that purpose only. No permit granted hereunder shall be is
The governing body or chief executive authority of the
municipality shall require a bond from the licensee in a sum not
less than forty-one thousand conditioned on compliance with the
provisions of this article and the
regulations rules of the state
Fire Commission: Provided, That no municipality shall be required
to file such bond.
Before any permit for a pyrotechnic display shall be issued,
the person, firm or corporation making application therefor shall
furnish proof of financial responsibility to satisfy claims for
damages to property or personal injuries arising out of any act or
omission on the part of such person, firm or corporation or any agent or employee thereof, in such amount, character and form as
the State Fire Marshal determines to be necessary for the
protection of the public.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
authorize the sale of
prohibited fireworks; to require the sales tax on fireworks to be
ten percent; and to establish a special fund that distributes the
firework sales tax proceeds equally to each West Virginia volunteer
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would