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West Virginia House Committee Presents Permanent Urban Home Rules Bill News, Sports, Jobs

Photo courtesy of WV Legislative Photography
House minority whip Mike Caputo, D-Marion, wants to change a bill on Wednesday that will make the Municipal Home Rule program permanent.

CHARLESTON – A committee of the West Virginia House of Delegates set the course for a sustainable program on Wednesday, giving cities more freedom to issue ordinances.

House Law 2728, which made permanent the Local Domination Pilot Program, was submitted by vote of the House Government Organizing Committee. The lawsuit regarding a similar bill in the Senate, Senate 4, has been postponed for one day.

The House committee submitted the bill following a successful change by House Minority Whip, Mike Caputo, D-Marion, and Tony Paynter, R-Wyoming, who prevented the local authorities from issuing rules or regulations against the Workplace Freedom Act and Work Management violate relationship law.

"I just do not believe that language is necessary" Said Caputo. "We have dealt with the right to work. My page has lost. The other side has won. This question should be behind us. I do not know why we want the subject to reappear. "

The 2017 Workplace Freedom Act states that a person is not required as an employment condition to become a union member or to pay union dues and fees. The labor management relationship law deals with unfair labor practices, collective bargaining and mediation.

Caputo said that these provisions are already state law and the language is not necessary and divided.

"I just believe it's a hit in the eye" Said Caputo. "I think it's another controversial topic that should be behind us. If you're an experienced lawmaker, you fight the fight, but when it's over, it's over. You should not drag people through the mud again on such a controversial topic. "

The Caputo / Paynter amendment was adopted on 13.12. Adopted. The deputy chairman of the government organization, Jeffrey Pack, R-Raleigh, presented the bill that was successful.

The legislature passed the SB 747 and founded in 2007 the Municipal Home Rule pilot program. The pilot program gave four cities, Charleston, Huntington, Bridgeport and Wheeling, the freedom to issue regulations, rules and regulations they had not previously under state law. The Municipal Home Rule Board was created to manage the program.

In 2013, up to 20 other communities were added to the program, with 16 cities accepted: Bluefield, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Dunbar, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Milton, Morgantown, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Shinnston, South Charleston, Vienna and Weirton. Other amendments allow more cities to join. According to the US Treasury, 34 cities participate in the Municipal Home Rule program.

In both the Senate bill and the House bill, the Municipal Home Rule program would be open to all Class I, II and III municipalities, from cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants to 2,000 inhabitants.

The Municipal Home Rule Board could also approve applications for up to four Class IV communities – cities with fewer than 2,000 residents.

The mayors of Vienna and Parkersburg said Home Rule had benefited their cities.

Mayor Randy Rapp said Vienna has been involved in the program for five years. It allows cities to legislate, he said.

"Regulations that apply to our city are really helpful because they were helpful in run-down buildings when people are not mowing or looking after their property." Said Rapp.

Rapp said Home Rule has enabled Vienna to cooperate with neighboring cities, including Williamstown and St. Marys, in the purchase of road salt, and the 1 percent sales tax has enabled Vienna to contribute to pension funds and carry out city projects Rapp.

"We love home rule" Said Rapp.

If Home Rule were repealed, the regulations already issued would remain in the books, but the 1-cent sales tax would be eliminated, said Rapp. Projects and programs need to be changed, he said.

"I do not really want to remember that the home rule is lost" Said Rapp.

Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce agreed with Rapp that Home Rule provides the city with the best opportunity to solve problems that affect communities. Parkersburg has addressed the issue of non-compliant motorized transportation and the improvement and strengthening of land-building codes to help beautify neighborhoods, he said.

The biggest budget impact of 1 percent sales tax was a $ 3.5 million net city revenue increase and the abolition of the B & O tax on manufacturing, the B & O gas supply tax. and utilities and the B & O tax on manufacturing. The spin-off of production was nominal, but the reduction in VAT was passed on directly to the residents, said Joyce.

"Losing 1 percent sales tax would reduce revenue by $ 6 million, or about 20 percent of our annual budget." Said Joyce. The one-percent VAT is a consumption-based tax because consumers pay the tax only if they choose to spend on goods and services that are taxed. "

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