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Home rule board OKs Charleston’s sales tax hike

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston’s proposed half-cent sales tax will go back before city council for final approval after the West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board gave the green light for the tax Monday morning.

The city is proposing the tax to help put cash into the $287 million of unfunded police and firefighter pension liabilities.

Charleston already has a half-cent sales tax that is primarily earmarked to fund planned renovations to the Charleston Civic Center.

If the new tax is enacted, there will be an effective sales tax rate of 7 percent in Charleston – the 6 percent state sales tax plus 1 percent in local taxes.

Officials project the tax will meet the city’s needs for that obligation until 2027. After that, the city will need to find an additional source of revenue.

“If we can get ourselves to 2034, we should be in pretty good shape,” City Attorney Paul Ellis told Home Rule Board members…

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