- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—PRINCETON — Possibilities that an accepted state home rule application would offer the city of Princeton, such as a 1 percent sales tax and a decrease in B&O; taxes, will be discussed at a special city council meeting next month.

The Princeton City Council is scheduled to conduct a specially called meeting at noon on Aug. 25, for a second reading and public hearing to amend the city’s home rule application.

The meeting will be at the municipal building on 100 Courthouse Road in Princeton.

In 2007, the state Legislature approved the Municipal Home Rule pilot program. The program allows participating municipalities to implement their own rules and ordinances as long as they did not violate the U.S. Constitution, federal law, or parts of the West Virginia Code, according to the West Virginia Department of Commerce. The program was designed to give municipalities greater flexibility and the opportunity to create innovative rules.

The city of Princeton’s proposed home rule changes include imposing a 1 percent sales tax and reducing the city’s business and occupation tax on its retail classification from .50 percent to .35 percent with the goal of creating additional revenue sources for business growth and economic revitalization, according to a legal advertisement published July 24 in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The city’s sales tax would be collected, administered and enforced by the state Tax Department.

“That’s something we put in applying for home rule,” Mayor Tim Ealy said about the proposed changes. “That’s not necessarily what you’re going to do. It just gives us the option of doing it if we are accepted in home rule.”

The city council will vote Aug. 25 during the special meeting on whether to approve the city’s home rule application, Ealy said. This vote will be taken after the public hearing is conducted. If approved, the home rule application will be submitted to the state. Ealy said the city has not been given a date for when the successful applicants will be announced.

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(c)2015 the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.)

Visit the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.) at bdtonline.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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