City of Buckhannon West Virginia
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Citizens and City representatives explore revenue options for community growth at Revenue Review Town Hall

Revenue Review Committee Town Hall Meeting

Revenue Review Presentation Amberle Jenkins

Cj Rylands Comments – Revenue Review Town Hall

Chief Gregory Comments Revenue Review Town Hall

Amberle Jenkins Revenue Review Town Hall

Citizens and City representatives explore revenue options for community growth at Revenue Review Town Hall

September 7, 2018

BUCKHANNON, WV:  On Tuesday, local residents joined City representatives to review municipal operations, needs, and funding sources. The Revenue Review Town Hall was held at the Public Safety Complex at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 4th. The revenue committee, comprised of Finance Director Amberle Jenkins, Mayor David McCauley, Councilor Cj Rylands, Councilor Dave Thomas, and Administrative Assistant Barb Hinkle, presented information on the General Fund operating budget, department responsibilities and needs, and proposed funding measures.

The General Fund supports the police and fire departments, street department, stormwater sewer department, Stockert Youth & Community Center, arts and parks. The Water and Waste Boards operate under separate funding and were not the focus of this town hall. Police Chief Matt Gregory, Fire Chief J.B. Kimble, Director of Public Works Jerry Arnold, Stockert Youth & Community Center Director Debora Brockleman, and Sanitary & Stormwater Sewer Supervisor Erasmo Rizo all presented detailed information about their departments and associated funding and equipment needs.

While general fund revenues have remained stagnant, expenses have increased. This is in part due to our emergency personnel responding to a greater number of calls, a surge in heavy rain events that overwhelm the storm and sewer system, an increase in prices of materials used by the streets department, and the need to repair or replace aging equipment in each of these departments. Unfortunately, these trends of rising prices and emergency response calls are expected to continue and must be addressed in our budget.

Our community center, arts district, and parks all need our attention as well. This fall we have 78 children enrolled in the afterschool program at Stockert Youth & Community Center (SYCC) where they receive a healthy snack, can sign up for tutoring, play sports, and participate in special interest clubs, such as computer technology, gardening & outdoors, and more. Another 113 local youth participated in the 2018 summer camp, which visited the county pool and other field trips. SYCC is a critical service for our area, as we do not have a YMCA or similar recreation center. The general fund supports SYCC, as well as our parks, trails, and arts initiatives at the theatre. The theatre will expand on the programming offered at SYCC and provide more opportunities for youth that are artistically inclined. Art, music, and theatre can provide a needed relief from stress for youth and adults.

Realizing that it is wise to address the looming revenue situation while it is on the horizon, and not an emergency, the City appointed a committee to evaluate our current financial situation and produce recommendations for the future. Two methods to increase revenues were explored: raising municipal fees on residents and businesses, or introducing a 1% sales tax. The committee determined that the sales tax offered the most benefit with least imposition on residents.

Forty-three other West Virginia municipalities currently collect a sales tax, including Weston, Elkins, Bridgeport, and Clarksburg. Most often, this small amount on purchases is not overly burdensome to consumers, but can alleviate budget concerns for these towns and cities. Further, the tax is shared by all who use town services, rather than unfairly asking town residents to bear the entire cost when county residents and visitors also use these facilities extensively.

Our revenue review committee expects that a local sales tax would bring in approximately $1 million dollars annually, which should alleviate the revenue situation and allow our departments to replace aging equipment, operate more efficiently, address citizen needs, and enhance our streets and outdoor spaces for business and recreation. Security cameras at our parks, additional streets paving projects, and rescue technology and equipment for our police and fire departments are just a few of the needs identified by the committee and department supervisors that could be addressed with the addition of a local sales tax.

If you were not able to attend the town hall, you may watch the slideshow and hear what was presented above.

For more information on the application of municipal sales tax in West Virginia, please visit the West Virginia State Tax Department’s web page on the topic:

For questions, contact Callie Cronin Sams,