In recent viewpoint, it was noted the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce did not advocate increasing taxes. I agree; If - and I repeat if - the governor, county and cities would enforce the laws of the state, counties and cities when it comes to people paying what they owe; an increase might well be unnecessary? Instead, starting with the city of Vienna, Wood County and the state, the elected and appointed people responsible go out of their way to not do their duty.
Through Freedom of Information Act requests over the past eight months, I became far too aware of what I believe to be the corruption in the city of Vienna at all levels of both elected and some appointed officials. They damned themselves and this led to the dragging in the county tax assessor's office starting with the tax assessor himself. Then by what I will call blind dumb luck, the governor's office showed it was not going to enforce state laws while now crying for more money.
This also is becoming the rallying cry for the county. We do not have enough money to do the job. Now Vienna is the exception; it has lots of money because it has been over-taxing the people for many years. But even it does not have enough and insists on grabbing every penny it can from the residents. Recently in one of Mr. Rapp's less lucid moments, he said it would be a good thing to have home rule along with Parkersburg. That additional 1 percent sales tax would make both cities equal to Williamstown which implemented its own 1 percent a couple of years ago. A prudent person can only ask "why do we need to be equal if it costs us more money?"
The truth is as always here, it is about the money. How many millions are left on the table each year because people live here, but register their vehicles and other personal property in other states? How about state income taxes not paid here? How about the losses in vehicle inspection stickers and plate renewal fees? How about not having even their dogs licensed or rabies shots as mandated by law? How many federal tax dollars are lost here because people are counted elsewhere? This state is so corrupt at every level and good people suffer. The scofflaws get a free ride.