Hearing set on exempting
items from property tax
By Nancy Lindsey
The Patrick County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday night to hold a public hearing Sept. 22 on a proposal to add mopeds and computer equipment to the ordinance exempting certain items from the personal property tax.
The 2014 Virginia General Assembly added two classifications to the state law regulating household goods and personal effects that a locality may exempt: "all-terrain vehicles, mopeds, and off-road motorcycles as defined in 46.2-100;" and "electronic communications and processing devices and equipment, including but not limited to cell phones and tablet and personal computers, including peripheral equipment such as printers."
Commissioner of the Revenue Janet Rorrer said the ordinance would have to be revised if the board wants to add those two classifications to the list of exemptions.
Mopeds are not allowed to go on an interstate highway and can't go over 35 mph, Rorrer said.
County Attorney Alan Black said the board should set a public hearing on the issue.
The ordinance adopted by the board of supervisors in 1997--which is similar to the state law now in effect--lists the following exemptions: bicycles; household and kitchen furniture, including gold and silver plates, plated ware, watches and clocks, sewing machines, refrigerators, automatic refrigerating machinery of any type, vacuum cleaners and all other household machinery, books, firearms, and weapons of all kinds; pianos, organs, phonographs, record players, records and all other musical instruments, radio and television instruments and equipment; oil paintings, pictures, statuary, curios, works of art; diamonds, cameos or other precious stones and all precious metals used as ornaments or jewelry; sporting and photographic equipment; clothing and all objects of apparel; antique motor vehicles which may not be used for general transportation purposes; and all other tangible personal property used by an individual or family or household primarily for maintaining an abode.
Hearing set on 3% lodging tax break
By Nancy Lindsey
The Patrick County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to set a public hearing Sept. 22 on a proposal to eliminate the 3% incentive lodging businesses currently receive for paying their transient occupancy taxes when they are due.
"We don't give people a discount for paying their taxes on time," Peters Creek District Supervisor Lock Boyce said. "We charge them a penalty when they are not paid."
Commissioner of Revenue Janet Rorrer said a penalty is also charged for late payments. She said the tax break was included in the transient occupancy tax ordinance when it was written in 2003.
"It seems to me the county has habitually catered to millionaires at the expense of people who work and pay their taxes," Boyce said.
The transient occupancy (aka lodging) tax generates about $225,000 a year, Boyce said.
"We should fix it," he said. "Basically we're giving away $6,000 a year. We should discontinue it and stop giving breaks to millionaires who really don't care."
The board passed a resolution, recommended by Rorrer, setting the percentage of vehicle tax relief for the county at 45%.
"Each year the Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA), also known as 'no car tax,' resolution is approved in order for taxpayers to receive a percentage off qualified vehicles," Rorrer wrote in a memo to the board. "The approved percent amount is reflected in the personal property tax bill."
Rorrer said the county receives $688,658 annually from the state in PPTRA funds, and estimates are done each year "to get as close as possible to exhaust this amount."
The purpose of voting on the resolution is "for the taxpayers to receive some personal property tax off qualified vehicles," Rorrer said.
Since 2006, each locality in Virginia has received a fixed amount for PPTRA.
"Every year we do this and if we don't do this we lose out on state money," Boyce said.
The motion passed with Dan River District Supervisor Roger Hayden voting against it.
"I don't believe there should be any tax on vehicles," Hayden said after the meeting. "You pay a tax when you buy a vehicle and then you pay a sales tax."