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Home Rule in West Virginia Expands

  • Nov 19, 2015 | Gail Cole

 Two home rule municipalities in West Virginia authorized to levy additional sales taxes.

Home Rule has been permitted in West Virginia since 2007, when the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program and the Municipal Home Rule Board were created. Initially, five municipalities were authorized to participate. In 2013, that number was increased to 20. Two years later, the program was expanded again, allowing participation by 14 additional cities.

In September 2015, 6 additional cities were accepted into the program: Beckley, Grafton, Moundsville, Oak Hill, Princeton and Saint Albans.

On November 16, 2015, Elkins and Harpers Ferry were approved to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program. Harpers Ferry is the first Class IV municipality to enter the program, meaning it has a population of fewer than 2,000.

The Board also approved amendments to the Home Rule plans of Bridgeport and South Charleston. As a result, both cities now have the authority to impose an additional 1% sales tax.

Neither city has yet made public when the rate increases will take effect. It is too late for a January 2016 start, and if either wants a rate change to take effect July 1, 2016, they must notify the West Virginia State Tax Department by January 1. Visit the WV Home Rule Pilot Program for additional information.

Dunbar, another home rule city, would also like to implement a 1% sales tax hike. According to Councilman Steve Arnott, "We've been struggling with our finances in Dunbar. [Implementing a 1 percent sales tax] certainly will help us." The city council has approved the rate increase and will next propose it to the Municipal Home Rule Board.

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photo credit: Home Scrabble via photopin (license)

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.