CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston's two-month-old sales tax continues to create problems in bordering communities -- this time in Sissonville.
Members of the Greater Sissonville Development Council know of five businesses in the unincorporated Sissonville area that are charging the half-cent sales tax implemented by the city of Charleston. The council met Monday night.
Since Charleston's tax took effect on Oct. 1, South Charleston and Cross Lanes businesses have also been reported to be charging the fee, despite being outside city limits.
In South Charleston, Mayor Frank Mullens and city officials successfully got most businesses to stop. But in unincorporated areas like Sissonville, there are no government officials to deal with the issue apart from the county.
Tom Miller, a Greater Sissonville Development Council member and secretary of the local volunteer fire department, said he was charged the tax at the Pizza Hut near Sissonville High School. Other businesses charging the tax include McDonald's, Dollar General, Family Dollar and Wendy's, council members said.
"It's typically chain stores," Miller said.
In part, the issue can be blamed on the tax system's reliance on ZIP codes. Because some ZIP codes are shared geographically between Charleston and nearby areas, some businesses have incorrectly assumed they are in the city, when in fact they are not.
Some businesses outside of Charleston also are listed under a Charleston address.
For example, the 25312 ZIP code extends from Charleston's West Side through the communities of Pocatalico, Guthrie and parts of Sissonville.
Miller said in his discussions with the state Tax Department, the tax form used for the city sales tax does not include a spot for the four-digit ZIP code extension, which would help alleviate some of the geographic mistakes.