SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — South Charleston City Council heard from residents Thursday night about the city’s proposal to apply for home rule.
The expanded program is aimed at enabling city’s more control over how they do business and Mayor Frank Mullens thinks it can help them be much more efficient.
“Our staff would be able to do on-site citations for property maintenance issues and help clean up neighborhoods,” said Mullens. “Things like selling public property in a more traditional way rather than a public auction.”
Home Rule has also enabled other cities to become more flexible in how they generate revenue. Mullens said it would be a mistake to think it’s a license to simply raise taxes.
“We can be a little bit more diverse so we’re not so dependent on the B&O tax,” he said. “But in Charleston and Huntington when they implemented a sales tax, they had to lower the B&O tax, that’s part of the law. If we look at our revenue stream and look for a different avenue, I’d like to lower the utility.”
Mullens sees the opportunity as a “win-win” for the city.