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Introduced Version House Bill 4549 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
H. B. 4549


(By Delegates Martin and Michael)

[Introduced February 24, 1998; referred to the

Committee on Finance.]





A BILL to amend article fourteen, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section sixteen-a, all relating to the gasoline and special fuel excise tax; legislative findings; expenditures for the maintenance of state highways; authorizing one half of one percent of the gasoline and special fuel excise tax to be credited to division of natural resources for use in maintaining the safety of the highways of this state.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article fourteen, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section sixteen-a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 14. GASOLINE AND SPECIAL FUEL EXCISE TAX.

§11-14-16a. Legislative findings; additional dedication of tax.

(a) The Legislature notes that the definition of public road and public highway set forth in section three, article one, chapter seventeen of this code includes the navigable streams and waterways of this state as well as the roads and highways running over the surface of this state and through the skies of this state. The Legislature further finds and declares that state conservation officers are charged, by the provisions of section four, article seven, chapter twenty of this code with enforcing the laws of this state, many of which directly affect the safety of the highways of this state, including road patrol, boat patrol, traffic enforcement, court appearances and other safety activities directly related to the efficiency of the highways of this state, as that term is defined in section three, article one, chapter seventeen of this code, and that these activities so performed constitute maintenance of public highways within the meaning of article six, section fifty-two of the constitution of this state.
The Legislature further finds and declares that the supreme court of this state, in its opinion in Contractors Association of West Virginia v. West Virginia Department of Public Safety, Division of Public Safety, declared that when article six, section fifty-two of the constitution of this state was adopted, interstates did not exist, and at the time that constitutional provision was written the major concern was building of roads. The supreme court of this state further declared that with the development of the interstate system and the advent of powerful, high speed vehicles, the concern has changed and has refocused upon the safety and administrative costs necessary to protect the users of our highway system. Having declared safety as directly related to the efficiency of the public highways of this state to be a related part of the maintenance of the public highways of this state, the supreme court of this state authorized the use of moneys in the state road fund for road patrol, traffic, court activities and other safety activities directly related to the efficiency of the highways of this state.
The Legislature further finds and declares that an amount equal to one-half of one percent of the gasoline and special fuel excise tax is directly attributable to the costs incurred by the division of natural resource, law enforcement section, in performing duties relevant to the maintenance and efficient operation of the highways of this state. In accordance with enhancing and maintaining the safe and efficient operation of the public highways of this state, the Legislature further finds and declares that allocating this portion of the revenue from the gasoline and special fuel excise tax to the division of natural resources, law enforcement section will promote the safe and efficient maintenance of the public highways of this state.
(b) After the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, one half of one percent of the revenues collected pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be credited to the division of natural resources as follows: One hundred percent to the law enforcement section, to be used to offset the expenses involved in patrolling, performing safety inspections, and traffic control activities upon the highways of this state.

Note: The purpose of this bill is to allocate the amount of gasoline and special fuel excise tax to The Law Enforcement Section of the Division of Natural Resources for the exclusive use of safety, road patrol, traffic and court activities which was declared by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to include the activities of road patrol, traffic and court activities.

§11-14-16a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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