Home Rule A Good Fit For New Martinsville
At a recent New Martinsville Rotary meeting City Councilman Steve Pallisco explained councils position on Home Rule for the community. Pallisco said the state recently passed a bill to open up home rule to all communities. Pallisco said the city is filing application for consideration for Home Rule, something he believes will really benefit the cities ability to deal with major problems such as dilapidated structures and unkept properties.
If approved as a participating city, they would be empowered to be creative in addressing local probems by implementing ordinances, rules, and regulations not otherwise available because of current state statues. Home Rule is very simple it allows Municipalities more freedom to adopt their own rules. One of the major advantages it gives to communities is the right to adopt local sales taxes. Pallisco explained that would be a major benefit to New Martinsville.
“It would provide us with the funds we need to take action and to clean up some of our neglected properties. The eye sores in town, things we haven’t had money to deal with. It would allow us to properly take care of our city employees and not have to worry about them leaving for higher wages or better benefits,” said Pallisco. “We need to be smart with this, we have to have a plan and spend our money wisely. I have never been on council when they had extra funds. So if we get approved it will take affect next July and I want us to use the money we would get from the sales tax increase in a way that benefits all the citizens of New Martinsville.”
Pallisco believes the tax would bring in some where around $2,000,000 per year to the city which would allow them to take better care of the streets, upgrade equipment and enforce violations for unmowed lawns and other public nusiances.
While not everyone agrees to giving more power to city council, we believe it is a good for cetain communites and New Martinsville seems to fit into that category. In order for Home Rule to be effective, especially when implementing a sales tax, there must be enough business in the community for it to work. New Martinsville’s study shows the business base does exist. A one percent sales tax will be a fair way for the city to generate revenue which should benefit all.
We applaud the New Martinsville City Council for being creative, working hard together and spending countless hours to find a solution to help make New Martinsville a better place to live.