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Halifax County supes meet tonight with land use taxation, courthouse on agenda / June 03, 2019

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors meets tonight to tackle an agenda that includes passage of a Land Use tax ordinance and updates to the Courthouse Renovation Project.

The regular monthly meeting of supervisors begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Bethune Office Complex in Halifax, second floor meeting room.

Among the items of business for the board’s consideration:

» Supervisors have a deadline of June 30 to enact a land use ordinance in order for the program to go into effect in the 2020 calendar year. Tonight’s meeting includes a public hearing on the ordinance, to be held near the start of the meeting, and a possible vote by supervisors on the matter.

Under land use taxation, owners of agricultural land are taxed on the basis of the property’s usage value, rather than fair market value. This favorable tax assessment is expected to lower tax bills for farm and horticulture producers; other categories of open land, such as timber or open space tracts, are not eligible for the program.

However, farmland owners will be allowed to include up to 19.9 acres of forestry or timberland in the tax-advantaged tracts, provided they present a forestry plan and adhere to other terms of the program.

The ordinance before supervisors includes numerous conditions for agricultural landowners to qualify for the program, and requires payment of a $25 fee for each parcel enrolled.

» Supervisors also will be asked to approve an easement needed for the relocation of a storm drain line at the county courthouse. It is costing the county about $104,000 to relocate the line, which was discovered during foundation work to the historic courthouse. The overall project cost of the courthouse renovation project stands at $14,019,789.56, still under the original contract sum of $14,824,000.

» Following last month’s public hearing on the county’s Six-Year Secondary Road Improvement Plan, supervisors are being asked to include two more roads in the upgrade schedule: a 0.35 mile stretch of White Lane (Route 897) and a 0.30 mile stretch of Talley Loop (Route 948).

» Ann Moser is asking the Board of Supervisors to rename the bridge on Oak Level Road (Route 683) over Boelte Creek as the “Herman O. Lewis, Sr. Memorial Bridge.” A board recommendation would go to VDOT and the Commonwealth Transportation Board for consideration.

A portion of the meeting will be set aside for citizen comments.

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