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Weirton City Council members weighing tax options

Updated: Wednesday, April 23 2014, 06:48 PM EDT
HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio - Weirton City Council Officials are discussing a serious budget problem.
Some of the options they're discussing to balance the budget has business owners furious. news 9's
The first issue is the city needs $1.8 million. The second is who this will impact once council decides where they get the money from.
Council members are laying options out on the table to get the city the money that it  desperately needs.
One includes a business and occupation tax to  Weirton business owners.
"I'm frustrated because I don't know that residents -- that even my employees -- understand
what a detrimental effect having no tax would have," said J.J. Bernabei, owner of Tri-State Medical Group.
"For example, our businesses in Weirton, the B&O tax would be placed on our gross receipts. It doesn't matter what our profit margin is, it doesn't matter how we perform as a company for the year because it will be placed on our gross receipts."

If council members choose not to add that tax, there are several others they have to choose from: Tax payers would pay a $2 fee to have city streets paved.
Comcast would be taxed and fire and service fees are $50.
"We're not able to pass on new costs to consumers," Bernabei said. "New taxes and new fees so, the only choice we have is to shore up our own expenditures and what the B&O to us is we would have to eliminate three jobs, immediately. We would have to eliminate three jobs and that would be very hard for us to do."
Business owners hope city council members think of alternative options to raise revenue that aren't as impactful as a B&O .
"I'm desperately pleading with our city leaders not to implement B&O," Bernabei said. "It's negative, it's regressive, it's going to cause our city jobs and it's going to force what young people we have here to move out because it is the real deal when it comes to job killing."
City council officials said they are weighing all options.
Whatever tax they decide to incorporate will be effective beginning in July.

Weirton City Council members weighing tax options

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