WEST LOGAN — Most municipalities in Logan County have problems from time to time in collecting on delinquent accounts for things such as Business and Occupation Taxes and other fees. West Logan is no different and the town’s council members discussed several delinquent debtors during the September council meeting, as well as steps which may be taken to collect on them.
“It looks like we are going to have to issue some warning letters to some of these delinquent accounts about bills,” Mayor Darren Akers said, noting that there were several residents who had fallen behind in their city fees for street department, garbage and police services. “Many times if you get too far behind it makes it even more difficult to get caught up.
City Clerk Mark Mareske said it was important to make sure that the street department did not mistakenly pick up garbage for residences or businesses that were behind on their bills.
Police Chief Robert Ward, who does the billing for the city, noted there are some residents who are far behind.
“We have one business owner who has paid maybe $75 in the entire time they have been here,” he said.
“Can’t we put a lien on their property,” asked council member Ruby Moore.
Ward noted that the Mountain Trail Inn had not paid their Hotel and Motel Convention and Visitors Bureau taxes in a very long time. Hotels and motels in Logan County charge a surtax that is divided up. Half of the tax goes to the local municipality where the hotel or motel is located — the other half goes to the local CVB.
“I had stopped in and told the manager that they were way behind on that and he claimed he had told his accountant to take care of it. Well, it has not been taken care of,” Ward said.
Mareske noted that several businesses, including a local engineering firm had not paid their Business and Occupation taxes. One in particular had not paid in a year.
One person present at the meeting noted that in some towns in West Virginia when a business gets behind the local municipality closes them down.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.