State Treasurer Riley Moore today encouraged lawmakers to pass a bill advanced by his office that would create a system allowing West Virginia citizens and businesses to pay taxes and fees for government services online in all 55 counties.
Senate Bill 280, passed by the Senate Committee on Government Organization Tuesday, would require all county and local governments to begin accepting payments electronically on a platform set up by the State Treasurer’s Office.
The bill would guarantee that by March 1, 2023, West Virginia citizens and businesses could pay any tax, fee, fine or other payment to the state or any political subdivision online – bypassing the need to pay in person or by mail.
“It’s 2021 – this is a no-brainer,” Treasurer Moore said. “Our citizens should not be forced to take time off work to travel to a courthouse or government building to pay their taxes and other fees for government services. It’s long past time we implemented this convenience for our citizens.”
Treasurer Moore said that by making this a statewide payments system, it will reduce the costs for these transactions, saving money for both individuals and the government.
“Even in the parts of the state that have e-payments, the transactions fees can be ridiculously high,” Treasurer Moore said. “I think this statewide system will give us the economies of scale to reduce these fees and save money for both the people making payments and those who are receiving them.”
Treasurer Moore promoted the legislation as part of an overall effort to modernize the structure of the State Treasurer’s Office.
“These are the types of simple, modern conveniences that will make West Virginia a more attractive place to live and open a business,” Treasurer Moore said. “People in more urban areas are used to e-payments. Now that more people are looking to relocate to get away from cities and remote work, they’re going to look for areas that offer modern conveniences in more spacious environments.
“This kind of legislation will help more people choose West Virginia as a place to live, work, open a business or raise a family,” Treasurer Moore said.
The bill is sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, and Senators Robert Plymale, D-Wayne; Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha; Michael Woelfel, D-Cabell; and Glenn Jeffries, D-Putnam. It now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.