EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHuntington Sales Tax Generating More Revenue Than Expected
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Oct. 28, 2013 6:16 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 29, 2013 9:42 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Brent Gist said he hadn't even realized he'd paid an extra one percent sales tax in Huntington for nearly two years. "When I go the store, I get what I'm going to get, and sometimes don't even pay attention to the receipt," he said.
That sales tax is adding up for the city. In the first year and a half, the tax brought in nearly $9 million, when it was only projected to yield $5.81 million. Mayor Steve Williams recently proposed increasing the tax revenue projections by 16 percent, which is about $917,000.
This year, about a half million dollars has to go to health insurance claims that were larger than normal, but the mayor wants to create a capital improvements fund that could go toward several projects in the future.
"We know that we have landslides that we have to address. We have some subdivisions where the entire street is falling in and we need to go in and fix those," said Williams.
Many residents say they'd like to see more infrastructure issues addressed. Jeff Morgan said he's like to see more roads fixed, including alleyways. He said the city has done a great job with paving and improvements so far, but he said, "It could always be better."
The sales tax should generate a steady stream of revenue to help fund some of those projects over the long term. "When you have something that you can depend on on a year-to-year basis, it gives you the ability to plan, and people can see the benefits," said Williams.
Council members are expected to vote on the mayor's proposal next week.
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