UPDATE 2/14/2014 5:15 PM
In the next few weeks, the City of Parkersburg should be applying for "home rule" status.
That's the program approved last year by the West Virginia Legislature, allowing designated cities to make certain decisions for themselves.
And the mayor says, contrary to opinions, that isn't limited to raising or seeking certain taxes.
"We're looking at new legislation to get rid of dilapidated properties," he says. "We may even look at something about deer hunting. Right now, we have an urban deer hunt, but state law currently tells us when to have that season."
Mayor Newell says under home rule, the city will seek to impose a sales tax, while reducing business and occupation taxes.
He says the program does not allow the city to reduce or remove the $2.50 user fee.
After a successful trial run in four cities, the state decides to expand home rule and Parkersburg wants to take part.
Mayor Bob Newell says the West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Program is a good thing and when the deadline for applications rolls around in January 2014, the city will definitely submit one.
“Home rule just allows cities to deviate a little bit from the restraints of state laws because in the state of West Virginia we don't have home rule,” Newell says. “Everything cities do basically is based on what the legislature tells us we have to.”
With home rule, the mayor says the city hopes to reduce business and occupation tax through a one percent sales tax.