When fireworks sales in West Virginia were legalized in 2016, the Tax Department projected much more venue coming in from it.
— Ivett Gabriella? (@ivett_gabriella) July 5, 2019
According to the Charleston-Gazette Mail, the fireworks safety fee brought in around $644,000 in 2018. When you add on the 6 percent sales tax on top of that, it totaled out at close to $966,000. The Tax Department projected there to be around $2.8 million in extra annual revenue from the move.
It could be the 12 percent fireworks safety fee that is contributing to the low sales, according to the 2019 Fireworks Safety Fee Report. In the neighboring states of Ohio and Kentucky the only thing collected from the sales of fireworks for the state is sales tax.
Another factor could be that the nearby states also sell their fireworks year round.
You can find more information on the fireworks sales in West Virginia here.
What could be the reasons for this? Well, for one a large percentage of the population drives to a location where their town or a neighboring town puts on a display of fireworks. This is much easier to do and also not as risky.
Also, with double the tax, it makes it an expensive venture. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars to put on your own display, why not just watch someone else do it for free? That’s a much cheaper and much easier option.
What do you think? Why are the fireworks sales in West Virginia bringing disappointing results?