Commissioners add lobbyist in Mon County

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Monongalia County commission has hired a lobbyist as the next West Virginia legislative session prepares to commence.

Former Republican Delegate Joe Statler has selected by commissioners to represent the interests of Mon County on issues like the inventory tax and the road funding formula.

Commissioner Sean Sikora says Statler has agreed to only be reimbursed for expenses and will not have a salary.

“I think this is agreat deal for the citizens of the county, this isn’t about party affiliation Joe is just a tireless worker,”Sikora said,”He works for the issue and it doesn’t matter which party is putting it forward, we lucky to have his services.”

Commissioners approached Statler back in Janury, but he was required to refrain from political activity for one year after losing the 2018 election.

Sikora says they need an advocate in Charleston when it comes to inventory tax legislation.

“We do know they’re going to attempt to address the inventory tax this session, so that’s very important,”Sikors said,”We realize it’s a tax that hurts business in West Virginia, but no one really has the answer in regards to eliminating that tax without hurting the countoes.”

Statler acknowledged the inventory tax will likely be an issue.

“You can’t stop a snowball from rolling down a hill, but sometimes you can chip the snow off of it so the impact is not as great when it hits the bottom.”

The road funding formula is also on Statler’s radar. The commission and Statler believe a simple change in the funding formula will not solve the problem, the DOH needs more revenue.