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Weirton may deny business license if fees, taxes not paid

WEIRTON — The city may soon be denying business licenses to those who are not up to date with their municipal fees and taxes.

During their meeting Monday, members of Weirton Council voted 6-0 in favor of the first reading of an ordinance setting requirements for license renewals in the city. Ward 6 Counclman Enzo Fracasso was not in attendance.

The ordinance, which must be passed by a second reading to go into effect, was sponsored by Interim City Manager DeeAnn Pulliam, but Ward 4 Councilman George Ash explained the reasoning.

“We have some businesses that have not paid their service fees or taxes,” Ash said.

There was some debate among council as to whether an ordinance needed to be passed, or if the proposal could simply be made a matter of policy.

Upon consultation with City Attorney Vince Gurrera, council agreed to proceed with the ordinance, as presented Monday.

“I think it’s stronger as an ordinance,” Gurrera said.

Pulliam noted the city also had been in contact with officials in Wheeling, which she said has enacted similar legislation through ordinance.

During discussion of the ordinance by the city’s Finance Committee last week, Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh noted one issue to resolve is the calendars used for the renewal of business licenses and the assessment of fees and taxes.

Weirton uses the calendar year for its business license renewal schedule, sending notices in November and providing a deadline of Dec. 31.

The assessment of fees and taxes, however, runs on a fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30.

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