Parkersburg City Council Votes to Extend B&O Exemption | News, Sports, Jobs

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Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce discusses the impact of a $ 500 tax exemption for B&O. City council voted for an extension of two more quarters at Tuesday’s council meeting at the city building. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg city council voted on Tuesday to extend a $ 500 B&O tax exemption until the end of the year.

The measure was first adopted by the previous council in June 2020 to provide relief during the uncertainty of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been extended several times since. It exempts the first $ 500 of business and professional tax owed by restaurants and retail establishments, service businesses and those who rent or lease real estate.

Filers saved an average of $ 185,000 per quarter, said chief financial officer Eric Jiles.

City Councilor Wendy Tuck asked what the impact of maintaining the exemption would be on the city’s finances. Jiles noted that maintaining the exemption for the third and fourth quarters of 2021 was factored into the budget.

Mayor Tom Joyce said some businesses still have staffing issues and other issues due to the pandemic.

Parkersburg City Councilor Wendy Tuck speaks at Tuesday’s council meeting at the City Building. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

“To date, this program has provided nearly $ 1 million in assistance to owners of smaller businesses,” he said. “I think this is something that has been good for the local business people, and yes we can afford it. It’s as simple as that.

The ordinance passed on first reading by a 7-0 vote, with Councilor Bob Mercer absent. As he did in previous exemption votes, City Councilor JR Carpenter recused himself, noting that his downtown restaurant, Crystal Cafe, could benefit from the legislation.

In other cases, after sparking much discussion at previous council and committee meetings, the final reading of an order granting a 50-cent-per-hour increase to police and firefighters after being with the city 10, 15 and 20 years passed 8-0 without further discussion.

The final reading of an order clearing part of 17th Avenue east of South Hills Drive passed 7-1, with Carpenter opposed.

At the council forum, City Councilor Austin Richards said he recently lost a good friend to COVID-19.

“He was 30 years old, young and generally in good health”, Richards said. “I just want to let the public know that there are resources for getting vaccinated. If you cannot be vaccinated, please, by all means, follow the guidelines and procedures to prevent yourself from spreading to others. “

Prior to the regular meeting, council met in Committee of the Whole to hear a presentation on the proposed water rate increase from the Parkersburg Utilities Board. The requested 9% hike is the lowest the utility has ever sought, said Eric Bennett, director of the utility board, in large part thanks to the board’s allocation of $ 7 million of plan funds. bailout for a nearly $ 17 million water system improvement project.

The first reading of the tariff ordinance could be on the agenda for the October 12 council meeting.

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