Cabell Co. joins lawsuit opposing Huntington's occupation tax

By Kyla Asbury | May 4, 2011

HUNTINGTON – Cabell County and Steel of West Virginia plan to challenge Huntington's new 1 percent occupation tax that is to be implemented July 1.

The Cabell County Commission voted on April 28 to join Steel of West Virginia in the lawsuit against the city to challenge the tax.

Cabell County Commissioner Bob Bailey said the commission had no choice but to join the lawsuit to stop Huntington from implementing the occupation tax.

Bailey and Cabell County Commissioner Nancy Cartmill voted to join Steel of West Virginia, as well as several other Cabell County businesses to fight the tax.

Bailey said the Commission joined to oppose the tax because there are many Huntington residents living outside of the city limits who have not been given representation or a voice in the matter.

Steel of West Virginia Vice President of Administration John O'Connor said the lawsuit will challenge the tax's constitutionality and the way it was approved through the state Home Rule Board.

The new tax is part of a tax reform package adopted by the Huntington City Council to replace its user fee.

In March, the Home Rule Board ruled that Huntington could implement the tax and eliminate its $3-per-week user fee.

The 1 percent occupation tax will be imposed on anyone who works in Huntington, even if they live elsewhere, which Bailey said the Commission thinks is not fair.

Bailey said the lawsuit is likely to be filed June 1.

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