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Halifax County supervisors gather to set tax rate

SoVaNow.com / April 07, 2014
The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will set a real estate tax rate for the new budget when members convene tonight in Halifax for their monthly meeting.

Supervisors have indicated they will adjust the real estate tax rate to 46 cents per $100 in assessed value. This rate is designed to raise roughly the same amount of revenue as in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The proposed rate is a penny higher than the current tax of 45 cents per $100, but the higher tax is offset by a slight drop in property values with the county’s 2013 tax reassessment.

Property owners whose homes, farms, businesses and land tracts increased in value will owe more taxes even with adoption of a “revenue neutral” rate, while property owners whose holdings fell by more than the countywide average will see a reduction in their tax bills.

In the lead-up to a public hearing, the supervisors advertised a proposed tax rate of 47 cents per $100, but spending levels in the budget are based on a 46 cent rate, and County Administration Jim Halasz has drafted a resolution to fix the property tax at that level.

Other tax rates are expected to remain the same as in the current year: $3.60 per $100 for personal property, and 1.26 per $100 for machinery and tools.

Supervisors also are expected to set the local contribution to the schools at $13,377,529, the same amount appropriated for education this year.

The new budget is set to go in effect on July 1, although the deadlock in the General Assembly over the state budget has introduced a note of uncertainty on that score.

Also on the supervisors’ agenda are two public hearings which will begin at 6:30 p.m. The first concerns an application for a conditional use permit filed by Cellco Partners DBA Verizon Wireless for a 199 foot telecommunications tower to be located on the south side of James D. Hagood Highway, approximately one-third mile west of its intersection with Rodgers Chapel Road. Planners have recommended approval of the request with 13 conditions attached.

The second hearing focuses on a request for a conditional use permit from Denise and David Hudson for a bed and breakfast, farm store with teaching facility located at 14242 River Road across from its intersection with Ashton Hall. The Hudsons say they plan to expand their farm for agritourism classes which will help local residents to learn more about farming practices, as well as animal husbandry and the making of jams, jellies, herb mixes, breads, beverages, honey and pickles.

The board also is expected to approve a proclamation denoting April 13-19 as National Library Week, calling attention to the many services offered by the local libraries.

Supervisors also are expected to set a public hearing for their May meeting on a request for a conditional use permit sought by David Rather to operate a taxidermy shop in ED-4 on the west side of Woodbourne Road.

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