City of Elkins use 1% tax revenue to accomplish five-year plan

By  | 

RANDOLPH COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) -- It has been a year and a half since City of Elkins staff established a 1% sales tax. Since then, residents and business owners say they do not know where that money has gone.

The 1% tax raise is common in surrounding cities like Buckhannon and Weston.

"I have seen in the paper that they have created a position, but that is the only thing I have seen at this point," said Charlene Evans, owner of Evans TV and Appliances.

City staff report that since the sale tax was enacted, the city has made over $1.3 million. Staff use the money to accomplish over 130 tasks outlined in the city's 5-year-plan.

Most recently, officials created and filled a public relations position for the city. Contractors are currently renovating city hall.

Most business owners say they have not seen any change in business due to the tax raise.

"I have not seen a difference, no," said Evans.

Delmonte Market staff say the tax hike is justified. It matches the sales tax of surrounding cities like Buckhannon and Clarksburg. But other business owners, who chose to remain anonymous, say their customers have noticed the price change.

"When we leave Elkins, for instance, do a task outside Elkins. You will be asked the question. They will check the taxes that have been added to the bill or invoice," said the business owner.

He said 1% tax was justifiable, but city leaders need to be cautious.

"It has to have, overall, a negative effect on business in the long term. Raising it just one percent now doesn't seem too harmful, but what if it goes to two percent, or two-and-a-half percent," he said.