KEYSER - The Keyser City Council is once again scheduled to discuss a possible Business & Occupation Tax break when they meet on Wednesday.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Keyser City Council is once again scheduled to discuss a possible Business & Occupation Tax break when they meet on Wednesday.
Council member Eric Murphy had proposed the tax break during the Dec. 11 council meeting, and the proposal was on the agenda for the Jan. 8 meeting but was tabled until additional information could be gathered for discussion at this week’s meeting.
Calling his proposal a “pro-growth, pro-business amendment to the B&O Tax,” Murphy had actually presented two plans for consideration - one which applies just to businesses in the downtown district and one which covers the entire city.
The plans are as follows:
1. City-wide: Give a new or expanding business a B&O tax break for the first year, then follow up with a gradual increase, asking them to pay 25 percent from 12-15 months in business; 50 percent for 15-18 months in business; 75 percent for 18-24 months in business; and 100 percent for those in business 24 months and longer.
2. Downtown only: Offer a new business a 50 percent reduction in B&O tax after they are in operation for four years or longer; charge an existing business 50 percent of the normal tax during that time.
At the time that Murphy presented the proposals, mayor Damon Tillman expressed his concern about the loss of revenue for the city.
“That tax is how we operate,” he said, noting that the tax revenue makes up a large part of the city’s operating budget.
The proposal is on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, along with bids for a new roof for the water plant, an inclement weather police, and park and pool rental schedule.
Under new business are the topics of residential street parking, a time clock system, and an executive session involving the police department.
The meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.