The home-rule program expires in July, and the West Virginia Municipal League has asked state legislators to expand it for another five years.
Jones said Charleston officials wanted to make their tax changes before the current home-rule program expires, in case a new program didn't give cities as much ability to change taxes.
The $350,000 generated from the manufacturing B&O tax "should have been eliminated a long time ago," Jones said.
"If someone wants to locate in Charleston, West Virginia, a manufacturer, we want to eliminate any reason they might not," he said.
The reduction in B&O taxes for retail businesses would be more significant. In all, the loss in B&O taxes under the plan would amount to $2.6 million, Jones said.
Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, said the move essentially shifts the tax burden from large corporations to mainly lower- and middle-class residents. But, he added, the improvements could be worthwhile.
"While tax changes will impact low- and moderate-income families and help higher-income businesses, if the increased amount of revenue is spent wisely on things to increase the quality of life in Charleston, it might be worth it," Boettner said.
Improvements made to the Civic Center wouldn't be regretted, Jones said, as a refurbished arena would be a huge "economic driver" for Charleston.
"Do it for the young, it's needed for the future of the city," Jones said. "If it's ever going to be done, now is the time."
"You can always find reasons to be against this," Jones said, noting no federal or state funds are available for the project. "There's not going to be money that comes from outside this area."
Eventually naming rights will be sold on the Civic Center, but no one wants to put their name on the facility in its current state, Jones said.
Plus, "that's a minimal amount of money," he said. "Over a 15-year period maybe a couple million dollars ... but most people who have the money to do the naming rights want a place that has a little more panache than the Charleston Civic Center."
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.