Counties in West Virginia could have more flexibility if one delegate’s proposal becomes law.
Delegate Joe Statler, R-Monongalia, is poised to introduce legislation next year that would extend the state’s municipal home rule program to the county level, the Gazette-Mail’s Dan Desrochers reported Sunday.
Home rule is a program enacted by the Legislature to allow participating municipalities a say in how they create or enact ordinances and collect taxes without state government influence. Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom would like to see the program extended so county governments can address their own problems.
“We have unique problems and we have a lot of outside people coming in, using our services and leaving and they’re not paying their fair share,” Bloom said. “So we need to come up with a mechanism. And that is really the only mechanism right now that we can come up with.”
But some officials have spoken out against the idea. Patti Hamilton, executive director of the West Virginia Association of Counties, says she’s concerned that expanding home rule to counties would shift taxation authority from the state, burdening the counties.
Municipalities participating in home rule — there are four in Kanawha County — have the ability to create their own taxes. Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper says he’s worried counties could implement a hodge-podge of taxes that could make it difficult to do business…