McDowell Commission nixes proposed tax hike - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

McDowell Commission nixes proposed tax hike

Photo by Matt Irvin Photo by Matt Irvin

WELCH (WVVA) - The McDowell County Commission decided to end its pursuit of a tax increase after nearly 200 residents packed a special-called meeting to voice their displeasure with the plan.

The meeting Thursday afternoon had to be moved to Judge Murensky's courtroom in Welch to accommodate the large turnout.

Commission President Gordon Lambert opened the meeting by informing the crowd that the proposed tax increase would not even be brought to a vote due to the overwhelming opposition presented by citizens.

Commissioners said there was some confusion surrounding the proposed increase. The 9 percent increase initially reported to multiple media outlets -- including WVVA News -- was actually intended to be a 0.9 percent hike. 

Commissioners said the proposed increase would have helped keep county budgets in the black. Instead, commissioners now say they will be forced to cut budgets county-wide by 5 percent.

Sheriff Martin West voiced displeasure with his department's budget situation. West said the sheriff's department currently has seven vehicles over 200,000 miles and others over 150,000.

West said the department currently could not afford to buy a uniform for a new deputy.

WVVA's Josh Frketic was in Welch and will have much more on the commission's decision tonight on WVVA News at 11.

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