Home Rule City Seeks Sales Tax Increase
- Oct 5, 2015 | Gail Cole
City officials in Bridgeport, West Virginia, would like to increase the sales tax rate by 1% in order to fund construction of a new indoor recreation facility.
Bridgeport became a home rule city in 2008. It was one of four cities in the state to do so under a new Home Rule Pilot Program. Since its inception, the home rule program has been expanded twice.
According to the Bridgeport city website, “The purpose of Home Rule is to allow local government to pass laws and ordinances as they see fit to further their operations within the bounds of the state and federal constitutions.”
Home rule municipalities may levy an additional sales tax of up to 1%, “provided they reduce or eliminate certain business and occupation taxes.” To do so, Bridgeport must approve an amendment to the home rule application. A public hearing on this matter will take place November 2, 2015. If the sales tax is approved, the city council will have to either eliminate or reduce B&O taxes. Additional information.
Nearby Clarksburg, also a home rule city, considered levying a sales tax last year but decided against it due to concerns that they would lose business to Bridgeport retailers. If Bridgeport approves a sales tax, Clarksburg city officials could reconsider a sales tax of their own.