PARKERSBURG - Many local city officials are not expecting to see a significant loss in business tax revenue as a result of the recent storm which knocked out power throughout the area.
When storms hit on June 29, power was knocked out to many neighborhoods and businesses bringing a lot of the area to a standstill.
Some businesses were without power for a day or so before power began to be restored. As power came back on, many businesses saw people coming in to get supplies and needed items to help them ride out the rest of the blackout.
Parkersburg City Development Director Ann Conageski said things remained stable throughout the situation as the majority of businesses were able to get back up and running quickly as power was restored. She is not expecting tax revenues to take a big hit.
"I don't think it was that significant," she said. "It may be a small blip. I just don't know yet."
Some businesses, such as local grocery stores and home improvement stores, saw a big increase in business as power began coming back on and people needed to buy food, ice and get gasoline for their automobile. Some people were buying generators, coolers and more.
"I think these kind of sales will offset whatever might have been lost," Conageski said. "Time will tell."
A representative of the City of Williamstown, who did not wish to be identified, said Williamstown no longer has a business and occupation tax, but instituted a one percent sales tax late last year. The city has not been through a full year with this tax and it was difficult to project what impact, if any, the storm will have.
The representative believed increases in sales following the blackout will balance things out.
Vienna Mayor David Nohe is not expecting to see any loss in tax revenue. In fact, he would not be surprised if they saw a increase as a result of the storm.
Following the storm, the Vienna area was one of the first areas to have power restored while a lot of areas locally were still blacked out. Many people from around the area were coming to Vienna to get groceries, prescriptions, gasoline and other supplies, Nohe said.
"I think many businesses experienced record sales for those days," he said.
At times during the blackout, operating service stations in Vienna had long lines of people from around the area who were trying to get gasoline. Nohe said the city also saw a big influx of people from Ohio coming over to get needed items.
"I would be very surprised if there was any kind of decrease (in tax revenue)," Nohe said. "I think we might even see an increase."