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No break for Huntington ‘user fee’

Ironton residents won’t be getting a tax break for the new "user fee" imposed by the City of Huntington, W.

Friday, December 15, 2000

Ironton residents won’t be getting a tax break for the new "user fee" imposed by the City of Huntington, W.Va.

City council members heard the city solicitors’ legal opinions during Thursday’s regular meeting and determined no Ironton legislation was needed.

Huntington officials recently passed legislation that imposes a "user fee" to individuals who work within that city’s limits, but it doesn’t affect anyone who earns $25,000 or less per year.

Ironton officials requested the city solicitors to examine if, under current laws, citizens of Ironton who work in Huntington and pay the new fee should receive a credit against their Ironton income tax liability.

"We are trying to determine if the city is going to lose any tax revenue as a result of the new fee," council chairman Jim Tordiff said. "We’ve been hit hard with the new tax imposed by the City of Ashland. This (user fee) would affect our budget significantly."

City solicitor Mack Anderson told council members after examining the new Huntington legislation, in his opinion, "the new ‘user fee’ is not a municipal income tax."

"This decision is as contemplated by Section 7 of the Ironton City Income Tax Ordinance," he said.

"In our opinion, residents of Ironton who are employed within the City of Huntington are not entitled to a credit against their city income tax liability as set forth by city ordinance," he said, including city solicitor Bob Anderson’s opinion: "The new fee is not based on income, it’s a flat fee that everyone is required to pay. So, it’s not defined as an income tax."

In other business, council members tabled a resolution that would fix "the number and compensation of certain employees of the city."

If passed by council, the resolution would delegate power to the mayor and allow him to evaluate and provide pay increases to non-union employees periodically.

"The reason, I feel, this resolution has been tabled is because we have a council member who couldn’t (attend) and he would like to participate in the reading of it," Tordiff said. "The city is required to pass a salary resolution every year."

Councilman Jesse Roberts was unable to attend the meeting.