White Hall council taking steps towards sales tax increase

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MARION COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - In April 2017, White Hall moved to increase sales tax in the town to half a percent to generate more revenue and help fund the town's new public safety building.

In March 2019, the idea of increasing taxes again was brought up, and divided the council. Some, like council member Charles Mason, are in favor of the increase, saying it would help eliminate certain fees residents pay.

"I think it would be a good gesture toward the residents and the businesses to eliminate the fire fees and do away with them," said Mason. "Another thing we could maybe look at down the road is the utility tax."

But others, like Mayor Guy Ward, don't fully support the increase.

"I think we should hold off a little longer just to see, because things are still developing," said Mayor Ward. "We still have, even with the half percent we're getting, it's still showing increases. Every time we get a quarterly report we see a little bit more."

Ward says many council members are in favor of the increase because it will help the town move along and finish some anticipated projects, but claims the possibility of annexing the area behind the Middletown Mall will bring in the revenue instead of having to tax more.

"The Middletown Mall, or Commons, is already in the town of White Hall. But a lot of businesses behind the mall aren't. So with the TIF district being developed and everything, we're going to have more infrastructure developed back here."

At White Hall's last meeting, the council passed the first reading of the increase, and will go through two more readings before an official decision is made on May 13th.

If approved, the increase in sales tax will go into effect on January 1st, 2020.