CHARLESTON,WV (AP) – A study shows tax revenues from the sale of fireworks in West Virginia are far below projected estimates.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports a state Tax Department report to the Legislature found fireworks sales last year generated $710,000 from a 12 percent safety fee and $355,000 in sales tax collections. The total of slightly more than $1 million in taxes generated was far less than annual revenue estimates of $2.8 million when the bill was passed in 2016.
The report says the safety fee is one of many factors that have caused sluggish fireworks sales. Neighboring Ohio and Kentucky charge sales taxes on fireworks but no safety fee.
The report also notes that unlike West Virginia’s temporary sales setups, Ohio and Kentucky have “an established customer base and business locations.”