By Jean A. Flanagan
Hardy County Commissioner David “Jay” Fansler voiced his objection to the Ambulance Fee assessment of businesses based on the square footage of their facilities.
“It seems like more of a fire tax to me,” he said.
“It will be pretty pricey and we’ll get a lot of static. I think you should trust the people of this county to be honest about the number of employees.”
The County Commission held another work session to discuss the particulars of the Hardy County Special Emergency Ambulance Authority Fee Ordinance. It was the seventh such work session held since the ordinance was upheld by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals last year. Residents were assessed an ambulance fee in February.
According to Commission President Harold Michael, it is the commission’s intention to reduce the burden on residents by including businesses in the fee ordinance.
[private] Commissioner William “JR” Keplinger asked what other counties are doing in regard to businesses.
“Other counties just double the residential fee for businesses,” replied County Coordinator Rose Helmick.
“The advantage of using the square footage is we can access that information from the assessor’s office,” Michael said.
It was estimated a $0.03¬¢ per square foot assessment would generate $106,000.
Hardy County Prosecuting Attorney Lucas See said he could draft an ordinance using whatever method the commissioners decided. When it was suggested See provide an ordinance with a combination of square footage and number of employees, he said, “That would take some crafty drafting.”
After more discussion, the commissioners asked See to draft an ordinance which assessed a fee to businesses based on the number of employees, as follows:
Less than 10 $120
10 – 25 $240
26 – 100 $480
101 – 250 $1,000
251 – 500 $2,500
501 – 1,000 $5,000
More than 1,000 $10,000
It was discussed that the number would include both full and part time employees.
The ordinance must be adopted at the June meeting of the commission to be implemented at the state of the fiscal year, which is July 1, 2017.
There will be another work session on Tuesday, April 18, at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend. [/private]