PARKERSBURG - Building and Occupation tax exemptions will be the subject of discussion tonight among members of Parkersburg City Council.
City Council will consider a pair of ordinances on B&O exemptions for new businesses if the matter is approved by the finance committee, which will meet an hour before council. Last week, Mayor Bob Newell requested council consider giving preference to companies to use local labor.
City officials are seeking a provision for purchase procedures where winning bids for demolition and construction projects would be required to have at least 50 percent of its workforce from the area. Newell said last week the ordinance stems from developments when the city's demolition contract was recently awarded to a firm from Wheeling. Previously such contracts had gone to a local firm.
Jim Reed, chairman of the finance committee, said there's no problem with the local labor ordinance, but he noted the companies already receive preference if they pay B&O to the city.
Under the ordinance "local" is defined as residents of Wood, Wirt, Pleasants, Ritchie, Jackson counties in West Virginia and Washington County in Ohio.
Reed wondered how a local labor component would be monitored.
The committee will also consider giving new businesses a step-rate on B&O taxes.
Under the proposed ordinance, businesses would pay a gradual increase over a five-year period - paying zero the first year, 20 percent the second, 40 percent the third, 60 percent the fourth and 80 percent the fifth.
The proposed B&O ordinance is separate for incentives for the proposed 100-unit hotel. Under the proposed agreement between the city and MPH Hotels, the city would grant the hotel a B&O tax credit/exemption for a five-year period from its commencement, as well as on all construction costs.
The city would also assist in the development of the site in the amount of $200,000 payable in two, $100,000 payments. The hotel would create at least 15 full-time jobs that would be maintained for at least five years. Newell said the $200,000 is CDBG money.
Newell said once complete, officials anticipate about $185,000 in annual hotel/motel tax. About $90,000 of which goes directly to the city, he said.
Reed said he didn't think the agreement would be an issue. His chief concern was the hotel's proposed location and potential traffic issues with the location near the traffic circle and possible ingress and egress onto Emerson Avenue.
The finance committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Council will convene for its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.