The additional one percent sales tax for businesses in the city of Weston went into effect on Jan. 1, but not without some confusion on the part of several businesses located just outside of city limits.
Businesses, particularly those such as Hardee’s and Wendy’s that are owned by corporations located outside of the area, were charging the additional penny on the dollar despite being outside of city limits.
Weston City Financial Manager Dodie Arbogast sought to clear up the confusion and clarify the situation in a phone interview on Thursday, Jan. 25.
Arbogast noted that “most” of the businesses incorrectly applying the tax were fast food restaurants that handle financial considerations such as taxation at the corporate level.
Arbogast said that the West Virginia State Tax Department would have notified the companies that businesses in Weston would be required to charge the additional one percent prior to Jan. 1.
Arbogast noted that she felt that many of these business’s corporate offices assumed that since the businesses had Weston mailing addresses that they were be required to charge the tax.
Arbogast also said that she had made an effort to educate Weston businesses on the tax, how to properly apply it and that she did not contact the businesses in question. She also noted that the City of Weston will not see any of the money from the improperly collected tax, as the state would not remit those funds to the city.
Arbogast also disclosed an email with Stacey Acree, of the West Virginia Tax Department in which Acree informed her that issues like this are common in the “first few months,” and asked Arbogast to give her the list of businesses incorrectly charging the tax so the tax department can make contact with them to inform them to stop collecting the tax.
Arbogast said that Acree told her that the businesses would have to offer a refund of the money to customers with receipts.
Arbogast said that she asked Acree what would happen to the funds should no one come forward to claim them, but did not get an answer.
A request for Acree to confirm these statements were unreturned by presstime.