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Commission on Fair Taxation Report Recommends West Virginia Tax Reform

Robin Capehart

With experience as the president of West Liberty University, Robin Capehart led an institution through sustained expansion that included online classes and traditional degrees and certifications. He emphasized a close connection between West Liberty University and the local community and instituted a noncredit lifetime learning program. Robin Capehart has also been active as West Virginia’s Secretary of Tax and Revenue and the chair of Governor Cecil Underwood's Commission on Fair Taxation.

In 2015, Mr. Capehart was consulted as an author of the Commission’s 1999 study by State Senate President Bill Cole, who subsequently called on Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to gather a special legislative session focused exclusively on tax reform.
At the heart of the matter was the Commission’s 1,000-page study, which determined that the local and state tax structure was too complicated, regressive, and riddled with exemptions focused on early 20th-century economic realities. The conclusion was that a tax code characterized by lower rates and a broader base would serve the state well. With more tax revenue raised from the services sector than from the traditional manufacturing sector, local governments would enjoy more revenue-raising flexibility. In addition, manufacturers would see a reduced tax burden for aspects of operations such as upgrading equipment and renewing inventory.

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