B&O Tax Credits

Downtown Business Tax Credit

Effective July 1, 2008 the Martinsburg City Council has created the Martinsburg Downtown Development District (District) where certain economic and tax incentives will be available to business and property owners in the District for the purpose of encouraging reinvestment in their real properties thus promoting the growth of the Martinsburg Downtown District.
 

The Code of the City of Martinsburg, Part Seven, Article 755, Section 755.03A, which authorizes the City’s Business & Occupation Tax, was amended to add the following provisions:

(a)  Designation of Martinsburg Downtown Development District.

The District shall be bound by West Stephen Street extending west from the railroad right of way to Winchester Avenue, thence with Winchester Avenue to West John Street, thence west on West John Street to Porter Avenue, thence north on Porter Avenue to West King Street, thence east on West King to North Tuskeegee Drive, thence north on Tuskeegee Drive to West Race Street, thence east on West Race Street to North Maple Avenue, thence north on North Maple to Exchange Place, thence east on Exchange Place to the B&O Railroad right of way, thence in a southerly direction with the B&O Railroad right of way to where it intersects with the Tuscarora Creek, thence with the meanderings of the said Tuscarora Creek in general southerly direction to the southern intersection of said creek and the B&O Railroad right of way and thence continuing in a southerly direction with the said right of way to East John Street, thence west on East John Street to the railroad right of way, thence south with the right of way to the point of beginning. The District shall include all properties that abut the described boundary except for the properties that abut the easterly side of the B&O Railroad right of way or the Tuscarora Creek from Exchange Place to East John Street.

  (b)  Qualifying requirements and Amount of tax credit.

  (1)  Qualifying requirements.

  (i)  A business shall be deemed eligible which has its principal place of business physically located within the Martinsburg Downtown Development District.
  
(ii) The credit may only be taken when an otherwise qualifying business files the required business and occupation tax return on or before the required due date.  If the return is not filed timely then the credit will be disallowed.

(2)  Amount of tax credit:  Ten percent (10%) credit against the business & occupation tax liability.

(c)  Administration and enforcement.

 The administration is vested in, and shall be exercised by, the Finance Director of the City, who shall prescribe all necessary forms and returns.  The Finance Director will promulgate all necessary rules and regulations that are necessary for the making of returns, and for the enforcement.

(d)  Forfeiture.

If the business relocates outside of the Martinsburg Downtown Development District, the tax credit will be forfeited.

New Business Tax Credit

(a)  Definitions.  The following shall apply to this article and section only: 

    (1)  New business:

 
New business shall be deemed as any new  commercial, wholesale, retail, manufacturing, or  service entity which shall physically locate its principal place of business within the corporate limits of the City of Martinsburg, or an existing
commercial, wholesale, retail, manufacturing, or service entity whose principal place of business is located outside the corporate limits of the City of Martinsburg and has relocated its principal place of business within the corporate limits of the City of Martinsburg, either by purchase of real property or  by virtue of a lease of five (5) years or more duration, and which is subject to the city's business and occupation tax. 

NOTE:  Current City policy accepts a minimum lease of six (6) months with an option to renew such lease.


 New business shall also include existing commercial entities which are brought within the corporate limits of the city by way of annexation or minor boundary adjustment. 

No commercial entity which has conducted business within the corporate limits of the city currently or in the past, and which changes its name or changes its business structure shall be considered as a new business under this section,  unless prior written approval has been given by the City Manager.

Additionally, the acquisition and continued operation of an existing commercial entity by another entity subject to the business and occupation tax of the city, whether such acquisition is by purchase or lease, shall not be considered a new business.

(2)  Property:

Property shall mean real property and improvements thereto, but only if such property was purchased or leased for use as a component part of an ongoing business operation located within the city.  

(3)  Business and occupation tax liability:

 
As used within this article shall mean that annual tax computed by the application of the rates contained in Article 755 Sections 755.02, 755.02a, 755.02b and 755.02c, less the amount of  annual exemption allowed and determined under section 755.04

(b)  Amount of tax credit. 

(1)  For new businesses within the corporate  limits of the city, the business entity will be allowed a:

(i)  Seventy-Five (75) percent credit against the business and occupation tax liability annually for the first year from the date the  entity qualifies for the tax credit.

(ii)  Fifty (50) percent credit against the business and occupation tax liability annually for the second year from the date the entity qualifies for the tax credit.

(iii)  Twenty-Five (25) percent credit against the business and occupation tax liability annually for the third year from the date the entity qualifies for the tax credit.

(2)   The maximum tax credit allowed for any new business that qualifies for the tax credit shall be Three Hundred Thousand dollars  ($300,000.00)

(3)   The credit may only be taken when an otherwise qualifying business files the required business and occupation tax return on or before the required due date.  If the return is not filed timely then the credit will be disallowed for the time period in which the return is delinquent.

(c)  Administration and enforcement.  The administration of this section is vested in, and shall be exercised by, the Finance Director of the city, who in connection therewith shall prescribe all necessary forms and returns. The Finance Director will promulgate all necessary rules and regulations that are necessary for the making of returns, and for the enforcement of this section. 

The Finance Director is hereby authorized to make any necessary determinations regarding forfeiture, qualification, or carryover of the tax credit authorized by this section, and, may determine that a particular tax credit application violates the spirit and intention of this section and deny the credit on that basis.

(d)  Severability.  If this section or any portion thereof, or the application of this section in any circumstance is held unconstitutional or invalid, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect other sections of this chapter, and to this end each and every section, subsection, provision, clause, and phrase of this section is declared to be severable. 

City of Martinsburg
Attn:  Finance Department
232 North Queen Street, 2nd Floor
Martinsburg, WV  25401
(304) 264-2131
(304) 264-2136  Fax 

Downtown Development District Map

Quarterly B&O Tax Form