LOGAN - Logan will offer a penalty-free September for all B&O and business license collections, according to clerk Amber Miller, after agreement by City Council.
Miller, who has been working on delinquent collections since March, says that most all accounts are up to date but wanted to offer a "business friendly" timeframe so that businesses within the city limits could get caught up on their accounts without the added strain of delinquent fees.
"Our mayor and council have been outstanding during the past few months of the collection process and when I updated them on the accounts and pitched the idea to waive fees for one month, they agreed," Miller said.
Miller added that she hopes the move will entice city businesses and vendors to be proactive in getting their accounts current.
"The City of Logan and all municipalities depend on this revenue for operations," she said. "It is vital to maintaining a healthy community."
All payments in full will be penalty-free throughout September, potentially saving some businesses hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Miller was responsible for lobby efforts that led to the passing of HB 4163, which is designed to assist municipalities in the collection of delinquent B&O taxes, during the 2016 Legislative Session. HB 4163 provides municipalities plenary power and authority to adopt an ordinance providing for the publication of delinquent business and occupation taxes; provides notice requirements; requires policies and procedures regarding the preparation, publication and posting of a delinquent business and occupation list; and allows for a reasonable charge to be added to the amount owed by a delinquent taxpayer to cover the costs of preparing, publishing and posting a delinquent list.
"The City of Logan has this ordinance in place to publish delinquent accounts, but we strive to be 'business friendly' and want to avoid this measure if at all possible," Miller said. "It is a good tool to have in place if we need it, but we want our businesses to see that we are trying to do everything to help them be responsible and in the meantime, do what is right to support the city so that we may maintain our services. We hope with this delinquent free offer, we will see all of our accounts come up to date."
Lisa Dooley, former executive director of the West Virginia Municipal League, said the downturn in tax collections with the energy market has affected the state and municipalities.
In 2017, Dooley also said that because of Miller's work, the League named the bill "Amber's Bill."
"I am very proud of our city clerk for assisting the League in getting this very critical bill passed that will assist all cities in the State of West Virginia in collecting revenue to support their vital services," said Mayor Serafino Nolletti. "She went above and beyond out of her scope of work to ensure this bill saw passage, and she did it to help all cities."
For questions about accounts, call 304-752-4044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.