Therefore, he would like to see the additional $2.25 million used for other purposes, he said.
"We don't know what unfunded mandates we could have in the future," Jones said.
The state's Home Rule Board previously granted Charleston council power to amend its current home rule plan to implement the half-cent sales tax.
The city does not have to go before the board now that the plan to reduce the B&O on retail has been eliminated from the funding package, City Manager David Molgaard said.
That is because the city currently has the power to reduce and eliminate B&O, under its municipal powers. The new home rule bill before the governor ties the city's power to implement a sales tax with its reduction in B&O, Molgaard said.
Molgaard also acknowledged that council could opt to use the $2.25 million to pay off the pension debt.
"We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.
The new home rule legislation has caused a good bit of discussion in council circles. It not only ties a city sales tax to its B&O, it also requires any participating city to eliminate all gun ordinances.
Charleston passed an ordinance in 1993 prohibiting any person from buying more than one handgun at a business in the city a month. The ordinance also requires a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases as well as a background check.
Charleston would also have to relinquish its power to prohibit an individual with a concealed weapons permit from carrying a firearm onto city property other than city hall.
Despite these facts, Jones does not believe it would be in the city's best interest to request the governor veto the home rule measure. That is because another home rule bill may not be passed by the legislature, he said.
Jones is also leery of what type of home rule measure state leaders would adopt in the future if the governor were to refuse to sign the one currently before him.
"It's time for us to move on," Jones said.
The new home rule bill also prohibits the state from enacting any measures dealing with divorce and marriage. Jones and some other state legislators have said this is an attempt to keep the city from legalizing gay marriage within the municipal limits.
Jones has also indicated that he has no intentions of performing gay marriages within the city.
Jones doesn't think the city can do anything about the measures included in the home rule bill and said leaders must acquiesce.
"It's out of our power," he said. "Whether it's about guns, gay people or future taxes, we have to adhere to the law."
The bill implementing the city sales tax should be before council this Monday, Molgaard said. However, even if it is passed this month, the city would not receive any funds from the tax until the first of next year, he said.
That is because the sales tax would be collected by the state Tax Department, Molgaard said. The state agency would need time to implement the program, he said.
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