Acts of the Legislature of West Virginia, Regular Session 1923
(House Bill No. 14 - Mr. McLaughlin)
(House Bill No. 14 - Mr. McLaughlin)
AN ACT imposing a state tax on gasoline, and on all other liquids containing any derivative of petroleum or natural gas, produced, prepared or compounded or usable for the purpose of generating power by means of internal combustion and sold at wholesale in this state as the words "at wholesale" are defined in this act; and providing for the collection of such tax and for the distribution and use of the revenues derived therefrom; making an appropriation; and fixing penalties.
[Passed April 27, 1923. In effect ninety days from passage. Became a law without approval of the Governor]
1, Gasoline; definition of; tax on the sale of at wholesale; wholesale defined.
2. Taxes collected to be used solely for road purposes.
3. Record to be kept of sales; monthly statement to be transmitted tax commissioner with payment of taxes due; penalty.
5. Tax commissioner may examine books of dealers; information to be confidential; penalty.
6. Penalty for false returns.
7. Provisions severable; legislative intent.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
Section 1. That the word "gasoline" as used in this act, shall include the liquid, derived from petroleum or natural gas, commonly known or sold as gasoline, and all other liquids, by whatsoever name known or sold, containing any derivative of petroleum or natural gas, and produced, prepared, or compounded for the purpose of generating power by means of internal combustion, or which may be used for such purpose. A state tax of two cents for each gallon, is hereby imposed on all gasoline sold in this state at wholesale as the words "at wholesale" are hereinafter defined. The tax hereby provided for shall be paid by the person, firm, association, or corporation, so selling gasoline, and shall be paid by said person, firm, association, or corporation into the general fund of the state treasury, in the manner and within the time hereinafter specified. The words "at wholesale," as used in this act, shall be held and construed to mean and include any and a.ll sales made for the purpose of re-sale or distribution, or for use, and, as well, to gasoline furnished or supplied for distribution within this state, whether the distributor be the same person who so furnished the same, his agent or employee, or another person; and also to mean and include any person who shall purchase or obtain such gasoline without the state and sell or distribute or use the same within the state. Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed as authorizing or requiring the collection of such tax upon any gasoline after the same shall have been already once taxed under the provisions of this act.
Sec. 2. All taxes collected under the provisions of this act shall be paid into the state treasury and shall be used only for the purpose of the re-construction, maintenance, and repair of roads and highways, and for the payment of the interest on state bonds issued for road purposes.
Sec. 3. Every person, or the treasurer or other proper officer or agent of every association, co-partnership, or corporation, selling gasoline at wholesale, shall keep and preserve an accurate record of all such sales, and shall, on or before the last day of each month, transmit to the tax commissioner a statement, under oath or affirmation, on such forms as the tax commissioner shall prescribe, of the total number of gallons of gasoline sold during the preceding calendar month and made taxable by this act, and shall, at the same time pay to the tax commissioner the amount of tax due for such preceding calendar month.
If any such person, association, co-partnership, or corporation neglects or refuses to make said return, or to pay the tax at the time hereinbefore provided, the amount thereof, with an addition of .ten per centum thereof, shall be collected on an account settled by the tax commissioner, as other taxes are settled and collected, by any appropriate legal proceeding.
Sec. 5. The tax commissioner, or any agent appointed in writing by him, is hereby authorized to examine the books and papers of any person, association, co-partnership, or corporation, pertaining to the business made taxable by this act, to verify the accuracy of any return made under the provisions of this act, and, in the collection of said tax, the tax commissioner shall have all the powers now vested in him by the laws of the state for the collection of taxes; but any information gained by the tax commissioner, or any other person as a result of the reports, investigations, or verifications herein required to be made, shall be confidential, and any person divulging such information shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or to undergo an imprisonment of not more than one year, or both.
Sec. 6. Any person, association, co-partnership, or corporation, or the officers, directors, trustees, or members of any association, co-partnership, or corporation, who shall fail, neglect, or refuse to make the returns and to pay the tax herein prescribed, or who shall refuse to permit the tax commissioner, or any agent appointed by him in writing, to examine the books or papers of such person, association, or co-partnership, or corporation, pertaining to the business made taxable by this act, or who makes any incomplete, false, or fraudulent retarn hereunder, or who does, or attempts to do, anything whatsoever to avoid a full disclosure of the amount of business done, or to avoid the payment of the whole or any part of the tax due, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars, or in the case of an individual, he may be imprisoned not exceeding six months, or both. Such penalty shall be in addition to the penalty imposed by section three of this act.
Sec. 7. The provisions of this act are severable, and, if any of its provisions shall be held unconstitutional, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions of the act. It is hereby declared as a legislative intent that this act would have been adopted had such unconstitutional provisions not been included therein.
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