On Oct. 23, the West Virginia Municipal League held their fall meeting in Logan County at the Chief Logan State Park Convention Center.
The meeting followed a day-long tour of Logan County organized by Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti and City Clerk Amber Miller-Viars.
Police and firefighters from Logan escorted representatives from city governments across West Virginia on a tour of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail System before stopping at local businesses.
Rock City Bakery and the Hot Cup in Logan and Mountain Mama Moonshine in Man each received a visit from members of the Municipal League.
The meeting of the Municipal League featured at-length discussion of a move occurring in several cities throughout the state to reduce business and occupation (B&O) taxes while imposing a one percent municipal sales tax.
The movement to reduce B&O taxes and install a municipal sales tax is part of a larger movement throughout municipal and state politics known as home rule.
Home rule gives cities and towns more power and latitude to govern their municipality.
The Home Rule Board was created by the W.Va. legislature in 2007.
In 2014, Bluefield, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Dunbar, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Milton, Morgantown, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Shinnston, South Charleston, Vienna and Weirton where granted home rule status through the pilot program.
Currently, 10 cities participating in the home rule pilot program are collecting municipal sales taxes.
In all, 26 cities are participating in the home rule program, and during the meeting, ironing out issues such as tax collection were discussed.
During her report to the league’s board of director’s Executive Director Lisa Dooley explained, “The main…thing we’ve been focusing on has been the join committee on tax reform.”
One issue that emerged involved inconsistencies in municipal zoning and zip codes used to collect municipal taxes.
During his address to the Municipal League’s Board of Directors, Commissioner of the West Virginia Tax Department explained that his department investigates issues where people are wrongly taxed and provides refunds where they are warranted.
The next meeting of the West Virginia Municipal League will be held Feb. 7, 2016 in Charleston.
Executive Director of the Municipal League, Lisa Dooley addressed the league’s board of directors at their Oct. 23 meeting held at the Chief Logan State Park Convention Center in Logan.