West Virginia Truck Scales Deemed Taxable as Capital Improvement.

In a West Virginia Circuit Court, a petitioner, doing business selling and installing truck scales, was found liable for tax based on the definition of capital improvement and how it relates to this type of contract. “Capital Improvement” is defined as “improvements that are affixed to or attached to and become part of a building or structure or the real property, or any part thereof, and that last or are intended to be relatively permanent.” The petitioner argued that, even though the scales were placed on real property (concrete slab), the scales could be removed and many of the parts of the scale were “free floating”, making them tangible personal property. The court countered, stating that the removal of the scales would cause damage to the real property which is a critical part of the definition of “capital improvement”. As for the “free floating” parts, the court felt it was impossible to determine every component of the scale to see what was free floating and what was not. (Brechbuhler Scales, Inc. v. Palmer, West Virginia Circuit Court of Kanawha County, No. 00-AA-172, December 5, 2003)

Posted on June 15, 2004