By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
After back to back shorter meetings, the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors had a meeting with full of informational presentations.
The Board of Supervisors are starting again to look at adding a business fee or tax. It is a subject that comes up every few years.
Fluvanna currently only taxes personal property and real estate for business, just like it does for county residents. There are three options the county can do to further regulate businesses: business directory, business fee or a business/professional/occupational license (BPOL) tax.
The directory option would require businesses to register with the county. The county would publish the directory for residents to peruse business in the locality.
The business fee would require businesses to pay a nominal fee yearly. The fee would be around $30, officials estimated. With over 600 businesses in the county, the county would only bring in $18,000 to $20,000 a year. It would require additional employee hours, creating a net loss for the county.
“It will be revenue neutral. It would probably cost us money,” said Mel Sheridan, Commissioner of Revenue. His office would be in charge of collecting money.
The BPOL tax would go on gross receipts of businesses. Albemarle and Charlottesville charge a BPOL tax. Supervisor Tony O’Brien (Rivanna District) owns a business in Charlottesville and he estimated he paid several thousand in taxes last year.
Vice chairman Bob Ullenbruch (Palmyra District) said there are businesses in Fluvanna who fly under the radar and they do not pay business personal property tax. He suggested a directory or business fee would help correct some of this.
Sheridan said his office actively looks for businesses and makes sure to keep a list of businesses for business personal property taxes, however there are very few not on his list.
“I don’t think (business directory or business fee) would be a 100 percent cure,” said Sheridan.
Sheridan will give an update or ways forward in the first quarter of 2015.
Fluvanna’s biennial reassessment program, completing its first cycle, will increase property values by approximately 2 percent across the county.
“It might be five or six percent increase in a few years, but it won’t be a big swing,” said Dave Hickey from Blue Ridge Mass Appraisals, the company contracted to perform the reassessment.
Sheridan said, “I again want to compliment you for the decision you made a few years back (of doing the reassessment every two years).”
The previous reassessment was done with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2013. The time before that was the state maximum allowed at six years.
County Administrator Steve Nichols gave updates to the board on various projects. On January 15 VDOT will hold a public open house about the Route 15 and Route 53 roundabout.
Louisa County and Louisa County Water Authority will hold a town hall meeting on Dec. 16 about their pipeline that will run along the eastern portion of the county.
The state has cut localities money based on budget shortfalls. Fluvanna will not receive $59,000 in FY15 that it was expecting. At the first December meeting staff will give recommendations on where to pull money. The school budget may also be affected.
The Pleasant Grove House Museum and Welcome Center is now open. It is open for four hours six days a week and Saturday for six hours.
The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.
Photo Credits: Fluvanna County