CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- West Virginia residents in the Fayette, Lincoln, Logan and Mingo Counties who suffered damage in the late July severe storms can be exempted from paying some state sales and use taxes. Deadline for this exemption for both the victims of the Memorial Day storms and the late July storms has been extended to October 30, 2004.
A large number of West Virginia residential and business structures were damaged or destroyed in the floods and landslides and were determined to pose a significant threat to public health, safety and welfare.
An Executive Order issued by West Virginia Governor Bob Wise exempts disaster victims from the consumer sales and service tax and the use tax on the purchase of mobile homes, modular homes and similar units. It also exempts them from taxes on installing the housing units. In addition, the Order exempts purchases of construction materials and supplies used to repair structures damaged by the flooding and landslides.
This means materials purchased to repair disaster-related damage are exempt from West Virginia's 6 percent sales tax. It is important that those who qualify fill out a West Virginia flood exemption certificate for each purchase. The certificate can be downloaded from the West Virginia web site (www.state.wv.us/taxdiv). Some building supply stores have copies of the form. It's also important to remember that an Exemption Certificate is required for each separate purchase of disaster-related building supplies. In addition, applicants for state sales tax exemptions must provide a copy of a Federal Emergency Management Agency housing assistance letter, proof of settlement of an insurance claim for flood damage, or an insurance adjuster's record of damage. Purchase of gasoline or special fuels is not tax exempt.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.