City of Buckhannon municipal sales tax bill dies in House of Delegates

BUCKHANNON, W. Va. (WDTV) - Legislative session ended at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, and a bill that would have helped start a one percent municipal sales tax start in July is no longer happening. Senate Bill 535 didn’t get a chance at the House of Delegates.

"The bill is dead," said Buckhannon City Attorney Tom O'Neill.

This Bill would have let the city of Buckhannon initiate this one percent municipal sales tax six months before it’s expected to start.

"The House Rules Committee voted to move the bill from the active calendar that was on second reading to inactive calendar," he said.

City officials say they worked with the West Virginia State Tax Commission to make this bill move forward.

"The bill was an attempt to get around those tax rules so we can have the municipal sales tax take effect when it originally start when it was intended," he said.

While it passed in the State Senate, it didn’t get a chance for a final vote by Delegates. Yet this sales tax will still begin on January 1, 2020.

Mayor David McCauley says this is a delay as the city plans to upgrade their storm water system and other things.

"New fire truck, they cost better than a half million dollars, we have an aging fleet. Pave some more streets, build more sidewalks, we’re going to further our arts," he said.

The city unanimously passed this sales tax last month after holding a town hall. According to city officials, this bill would have helped generate the city’s goals earlier.

"Now we have to wait until the first of the next calendar year but it’s just a delay. the legislature cannot stop us from implementing this sales tax, they just prevent us from starting when we wanted," said McCauley.