CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston City Council will lay its tax levy for next fiscal year at its meeting Monday night at city hall.

Also on the agenda is a proposal to begin charging those who organize events like 5K runs and walks in the city a fee.

The fee would be $500 for race organizers to use an established city course. With that fee they would receive four uniformed police officers and traffic control. Use of Kanawha Boulevard would cost $1,000 per event and $1 per participant. City-sponsored events would not be charged.

Charleston has provided traffic control for the events free of cost but city officials have said overtime costs are going up.

Mayor Danny Jones told MetroNews affiliate 58WCHS recently these are tough financial times for the city, especially when it comes to B&O Tax revenues.

“This flat-lining of our B&O taxes started before the water mess,” the mayor said. “I have no idea what this quarter is going to look like but we’ll find out at the end of April and I can promise you this, it’s not going to be pretty.”

Mayor Jones says the decrease in coal production impacts Charleston.

“As the coalfields shutdown and people get run out of jobs it stretches up here. It hurts us too,” the mayor said. “So we’re going to have to do some readjusting.”

Charleston is also facing increasing pension costs for firefighters and police officers.

“It’s going to bump up our budget–a half a million, a half a million, so fees are going to have to increase. You say, ‘Well Danny we’re going to have to find another mayor,’ you can do that but it’s not going to change the numbers,” Jones said.

City Council’s finance committee meets beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday followed by the full council meeting.

 

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Comments

  • run baby run

    The reason, as told to me, for the fee is to cover the OT for the police. True they covered races when there was not enough money in the budget. In 2012 they were 21,000+ in the hole. In 2013 they were 41,000+ in the hole. Danny Jones stood there at the city council meeting and stated that this fee was to cover OT. I was given no other reason for it. So why won't the city provide to data to prove all of the 41,000+ OT was for races in the city last year?
    And why does the CDR get a bye on this fee when a small 80 people 5K has to pay? Why are races being charged this fee now when this has not been approved by council yet?

  • upset about this

    This policy is not a good one for the city of Charleston. The larger groups, which have the money and the staff and usually are for profit, will pay the fee and it won't be a problem. The smaller groups, often non-profit and sometimes volunteer led with all of the money staying HERE in WV are the ones who will really feel the impact of this race fee.

    If the fee is kept where it is, the small groups will be forced out of town or to pay a disproportionately large amount of money. Having ran in several Kanawha City races myself, I find it sickening the city wants to MAKE money on them, there is no way that is $500 worth of coverage.

    What this article doesn't mention is a 'grant system' they are going to have. Groups can apply to the city to have the fee reduced or waived. Absolutely nothing has been determined about this program except it is $20,000 and will be managed by Parks and Rec. Only in Charleston is creating another level of bureaucracy a way to save money.

    There is a better way that has been proposed time and time again to the city, and it has been used successfully in Huntington. No grant program, just a tiered system where the races that cause the city to incur the most costs are the most expensive, and a for profit and non-profit rate.

    PLEASE let your city councilman know you are NOT ok with this.

  • rebecca

    So let's put fees to punish the groups that have built non profit revenue that stays in WV, brings paying customers to shop, eat, stay and spend money in your city. Oh and 4 hours of 4 policeman one day out of the year costs you what? Cheap shot to non profits that have proven to be revenue builders already supporting your city. So when they leave your city what will your budget look like? Yes don't show a sense of community in Charleston leadership, we wouldn't want to change the national perspective.

  • Patrick

    We are already one of the fattest cities in the country.....just what we need- obstacles to keep people from running. The mayor is a joke.

  • Worm

    We had 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in the chemical industry. I wonder who ran those off?
    Charleston's dead and on a free fall to the bottom. Last one out, turn off the lights.

    • DWL

      I wonder who blew the "eternal" torch out at Union Carbide? Could it possible be the liberals' Gestapo EPA? Maybe the UNION mentality? What used to be a thriving valley, has turned into a waste land with dead water.

    • benthere

      In 1975 the Charleston metroplex had the second highest manufacturing per capita income in the country. Second only to Detroit.
      Its amazing how far this area has fallen off. South Charleston was probably the model for a middle class community. The Union Carbide Technical Center housed world class R&D and engineering centers. There were more phd's at the Technical Center than WVU. Over 12,000 people worked for Union Carbide. 10's of thousands more worked for FMC, DuPont, Allied, Avtex and others. State government never gave a damn about the chemical industry it was taken for granted. If doesn't have coal associated with the business...then good luck. Keep wishing for the cracker....it won't happen.

  • wv4evah

    It sounds like a reasonable proposal to me, as the city struggles to balance its budget. Perhaps this adjustment could be made: tax a percentage of the amount that the organizers of these events keep for themselves..that is, the amount that does not go directly to charitable work.

    • run baby run

      There has been many different proposals offered. Sliding scale, based on non prof vs prof, schools vs businesses. The city is not biting.

      They say all races are covered by 4 cops for 4 hours at 32.00 an hour. That is the basis for the fee.

      If the race is on the boulevard, then it is 1000.00 + $1.00 per person. So let's say 5000 people show up for the Susan G Komen race that fee is 6000.00.

    • Joe Schmoe

      wv,

      you are nuts. you can't tax the hell out of people

  • Realist

    Danny Jones is a cancer to the city of Charleston. He spends so much time crying over non issues and trying to gain control over the entire state that he has done absolutely nothing positive for the city of Charleston. Someone get that idiot out of office.

  • GobblyGook

    Nanny Jones says, “So we’re going to have to do some readjusting.”

    I didn't know "readjusting" meant a tax or fee increase. What's next Nanny? A raise in the illegal and unconstitutional "User Fee" tax you impose?
    Time for the City to live within its means Nanny. Cut some expenditures and cut some payroll. There is a lot, and I mean alot, of dead weight in your city administration.

  • Steve

    Maybe, just maybe it is not the liberal approach that is failing. Did you ever consider that tax breaks for the wealthy is part of the problem? If the 1% would pay their fair share then the city would not have to hike fees and things of that nature. The conservative mentality of giving breaks to their friends is the problem.

    • BS

      There are no city or local tax breaks for the wealthy. These taxes aren't income based.

      The libs give money to the welfare class and their contributors, while conservatives give breaks to their friends and contributors. So who gets screwed - the middle class of course.

      • Steve

        Thanks for the correction. I was mistaken, thinking about state and federal taxes.

        The honest truth is that anything too far one way or the other is the problem. and you hit the nail on the head that the middle class gets screwed. The cities/municipalities are stuck trying to find solutions to problems and can't win. I feel sympathy for those that govern at that level that are trying to do what they think is best for the citizens of their cities.

    • Jim

      Typical liberal response. I doubt very many of the people considered in the 1% live in charleston. The problem is your "Robin Hood" mentality.

  • DWL

    Maybe, just Maybe, the liberal approach of "tax ourselves to prosperity" is failing - AGAIN! Get your dam# hands out of the people's pocket! Liberal mentality is proven failure!

    • Jim

      You hit the nail on the head buddy.

  • Larry

    By by Danny Jones