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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Council to mull tax fate
Monday, September 23, 2013
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A roughly 28-cent hike in the city’s real estate tax rate would be necessary to make up the approximately $1.8 million in annual revenue that Martinsville would lose if the state eliminates two taxes, according to officials.
Either that, or the city would have to shed about 35 employees and perhaps eliminate the services they provide. Or, the city could impose combinations of both options, a report prepared for Martinsville City Council shows.
The council on Tuesday will consider adopting a resolution opposing efforts by some state lawmakers to eliminate the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) and Machinery and Tools (M&T) taxes.
Martinsville’s real estate tax rate is $1.0621 per $100 of assessed value, which means the owner of house assessed at $100,000 would get a tax bill for $1,062.10.
A 28-cent increase would raise the rate to $1.3421, which would mean the owner of that home would see his bill go up by $280 to $1,342.10.
Reducing the city budget by $1.8 million would cause “dire consequences” in schools, public safety, economic development and other things funded by local government, according to the report.
Lawmakers are interested in eliminating the taxes because they think it would persuade companies to come to Virginia.
The issue of eliminating the BPOL tax itself, and considering the resolution, came up during the Sept. 10 council meeting. Council members Danny Turner and Sharon Brooks Hodge indicated they want to see BPOL eliminated, but a majority of the council — Mayor Kim Adkins, Vice Mayor Gene Teague and member Mark Stroud — expressed support for keeping BPOL.
The council will consider the resolution when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building on West Church Street uptown.
Other items on the short agenda include:
• Consider initial adoption of an ordinance amending zoning requirements for home child care operations. A public hearing will be held.
• Consider adopting on second reading, making it official, an ordinance increasing the number of seats on the city’s Arts and Cultural Committee from five to 11.
• Hear an update on activities of Piedmont Community Services.
• Receive semi-annual reports from organizations outside city government that receive city funding.
• Hear business from the floor.
At 7 p.m., the council will meet in closed session to consider a personnel matter and possible appointments to local boards and commissions.