Panel OKs Bid to Aid Police, Fire, VFD Benefits

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Charleston, W.Va. (Ap) -- Cities and towns across West Virginia with underfunded police and fire pension programs could get some legislative help this year, along with volunteer firefighters seeking pension-like benefits.

But the bill endorsed Tuesday by the House Finance Committee would hike insurance taxes by $15.5 million annually in the process.

The measure would also allow municipalities to raise occupation or sales taxes, and increase contribution levels both for them and pension enrollees.

That prompted some republicans on the committee to oppose the bill. A democratic leader in the Senate is also vowing to fight such tax hikes, given the recession.

The revenues would ease unfunded pension liabilities and help provide length of service awards to volunteer firefighters.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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