South Boston News & Record
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With much uncertain, board ponders needs, areas to cut
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Halifax County supervisors likely to leave tax rates unchanged
SoVaNow.com / March 07, 2013Halifax County supervisors on Monday evening voted to advertise the real estate tax rate for the coming fiscal year at 47 cents per $100 value. That is a hike in the current real estate tax rate of two cents per hundred, but board members showed little interest in seeing the rate increased.
Rather they voted to advertise the higher rate in case unforeseen expenses arise and they have to find more revenue to cover those. Advertised rates can be lowered back to the current 45 cents, but once advertised they cannot be increased, supervisors explained.
Also on Monday evening County Administrator James Halasz reminded board members of their commitment made last year to provide matching funds of $104,229 to the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center for the 2014 year and again for the following year. The money, along with a similar contribution from the Town of South Boston, provides matching funds for a Virginia Tobacco Commission grant which is used for the operation of the center.
The memorandum of agreement passed the board on a 6-1 vote with only ED-5 Supervisor Barry Bank opposing it. (ED-3 Supervisor William I. Fitzgerald was absent from the meeting.)
The board also unanimously approved a recommendation from Halasz to move the Republican Grove Precinct Polling Place to the new North Halifax Volunteer Fire Department at 4201 Leda Grove Road.
And lastly the board approved an application for up to $5,000 in funds to support two local arts organizations. The board voted to apply for the grant which, if successful, will split the money evenly between the Halifax County Little Theatre and The Prizery with the county providing matching funds of $5,000. Approval of the grant submission came on a 6-1 vote with Supervisor Bank voting in opposition to it.
Supervisors also heard an appeal from Cheryl Watts of the Humane Society for more support in trying to cut down on the number of stray and abandoned animals throughout the county.
“No matter how hard we work or how successful our program is, Halifax County cannot rescue its way to a solution to the large problem of stray and homeless animals,” she told them. Pointing to a chart she had made she showed that one pair of animals over a nine year period could produce almost one million others.
Watts suggested that tag prices for unaltered animals be raised significantly to cut down on the problem.
Her report showed that 456 dogs and 285 cats were housed at the animal shelter with a number of those being transported to out-of-state facilities, in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Connecticut. She said the Society’s expenses last year totaled some $41,403 which amounted to about $55 per animal. Veterinary care and gas for transports accounted for about 73 percent of the expenses.
Supervisors also heard Nick Long of Halifax Forward ask that money collected from the newly enacted meals tax be appropriated for the operation of the schools. “That was what we worked toward, getting more money for our schools when we pushed the referendum on the meals tax,” Long reminded board members.
In other comments Supervisors heard Ida Terry make a plea for help for those who have difficulty in meeting burial expenses. She proposed that the county adopt some type of “Potters Funds.”
CommentsFor the animal problem, I will quote an old halifax vet. "A bullet only costs a quarter" I trust that the supervisiors will lower that 47 back to 45 if we have to pay the increased fees.
- By allpolitical2 on 03 / 07 / 13
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