Legislation still weighs heavily on Moundsville council | News, Sports, Jobs
MOUNDSVILLE — A quiet council meeting on Tuesday night saw continued discussion of potential state legislation that could restrict financing options for cities that apply a 1% sales tax.
City Manager Rick Healy recounted the recent West Virginia Municipal League conference, which he and several city employees attended late last month. Healy had previously warned council to keep Senate Bill 132 on its radar, which would require cities that have implemented the sales tax to eliminate their business and professional tax over a five-year period.
Healy previously said the city budgets $2 million a year for sales tax and $2.4 million for B&O tax.
As SB 132 continues to languish on the government organizing committee, Healy expressed further concerns about House Bill 2232, which he says would require municipalities to hold a special election to repeal any ordinance or provision of the code if challenged by a petition with a sufficient number of votes. .
“Essentially, a resident could get a petition with 15% of the vote from the last general election and present it to council, which would require us to hold a special election to repeal this ordinance,” he said. “We have to keep an eye on that as well.”
HB 2232 has been on the House Political Subdivisions Committee since its introduction last year. The bill makes no provision to pay for those elections, which Healy pointed out in response to a question from council member David Wood.
Healy said the City League remains relatively unfazed about the legislation, with current forecasts appearing confident the bills will die in committee, but Healy said the city’s friends in the Legislative Assembly are ready to vote against it. them if necessary.
He said the city has already won the support of local lawmakers to oppose the legislation, including Charlie Reynolds and Lisa Zukoff, but expressed personal concerns that a bill that makes it to a vote could simply be accepted without deliberation.
“The Municipal League is not in a frantic position right now,” Healy said.
“They think it might be better to let some of these bills do the talking and get to the point where they don’t get sent off the committee. … I’m a bit afraid of saying nothing to our legislators and giving up. If it comes out of committee, there is a good chance that if it is tabled, it will be adopted by a large majority.
Separately, Healy submitted design sketches for the Municipal Building Renovation Project, featuring a significant redesign from previous designs. Previous projections included insufficient storage space and bids for the project were around $12 million, well over the budgeted $9.5 million, forcing the council to drop bids and return to the drawing-board.
Council members Denny Wallace and Randy Chamberlain were absent from Tuesday’s meeting.