CHARLESTON – The attorneys for the Cabell County Commission and several local unions who have been locked in a legal struggle against Huntington's bid to impose a controversial occupation tax, have filed a motion in Kanawha Circuit Court that would permanently kill the proposal.
The occupation tax would seize 1 percent of the gross income earned by every employee and self-employed person working within the Huntington city limits. It was created to replace the city's current $3-per-week user fee and does not affect Huntington residents who work outside of the city limits.
Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey, who is presiding over the case, could make one of two rulings that would kill the occupation tax. She could either rule that the tax is unconstitutional, or she could determine that the five-year Home Rule pilot law is unconstitutional.
Bailey has scheduled the arguments in the court for 11 a.m. on Oct. 5, according to an order filed Aug. 25 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
The Cabell County Commission, Commissioner Bob Bailey, Service Employees International UnionDistrict 1199, Teamsters Local 505 and several other unions are named as plaintiffs in the suit.
The plaintiffs claim that the tax is unconstitutional because the city workers who commute from outside of the city limits are essentially being taxed by municipal officials they have no right to vote out.
Bailey previously granted a temporary injunction in June that prohibited Huntington from collecting the tax, but allowed the city to continue collecting the $3-per-week user fee.