Final Vote Set on Martinsburg Home Rule Proposal

May 19, 2014

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Martinsburg's City Council plans to vote this week on whether the city will apply for the state's home rule program.

A final vote is scheduled Tuesday on a proposed ordinance that would authorize Mayor George Karos to submit the city's application.

The Journal reports that Martinsburg's application includes adopting a 1 percent sales tax. Business and occupation taxes on wholesale and retail businesses would be reduced. The B&O tax on amusement businesses would be eliminated.

West Virginia's Home Rule Program shifts power from the state to the local level and gives municipalities a larger say in how they govern. It began as a five-year pilot program in four cities.

Last year, the Legislature continued the program until July 1, 2019, and allowed a total 20 municipalities to participate.