"Under existing state law they get 1 percent or actual costs [of administration], whichever is less," Ellis said. "But at the end of the session they revised the ceiling to 5 percent."
The state tax commissioner will draft a legislative rule to carry out the will of the Legislature, Steager said, which would likely get enacted through a rulemaking bill during the 2014 legislative session.
However, state officials have already mentioned a minimum figure, Ellis said.
"In the conversations we've had it would take about $200,000 to get up and running. That's the ballpark estimate," he said.
East End Councilman Robert Sheets, who cast the only vote against the measure, said the tax is regressive and hits low-income people the hardest. "I'd hope we could find other options."
Councilman Ed Talkington said he sympathized, but said cities have few options for raising money. "There's a user fee and a sales tax. Ideally we'd have another mechanism, but we don't."
Also Monday, council members unanimously passed a bill to eliminate the business and occupation tax on manufacturing within city limits. The tax change takes effect Jan. 1.
And council members bought vehicles for several city departments -- a $154,900 ambulance, a $102,001 dump truck and a $146,146 bucket truck.
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.