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Senate passes up Friday vote on sales tax bill / February 15, 2019

The Virginia Senate declined Friday to hold a floor vote on legislation by Del. James Edmunds that would authorize Halifax County to hold a referendum on a local sales tax for a new Halifax County High School.

The decision by the Senate to delay Friday's scheduled vote leaves open the possibility that the measure can come back up for a vote next week, as early as Monday. However, it also may signal that the bill lacks support in the upper chamber. It has already passed the House of Delegates.

Edmunds' legislation, House Bill 1634, requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage in the 40-member Senate because it is deemed "special legislation," applying only to Halifax County. The bill cleared a similar two-thirds majority requirement in the House.

Under the legislation, Halifax County could hold a voter referendum on a 1-cent local sales tax, added on top of the 5.3 cent state retail sales tax, to raise an estimated $3.5 million annually to apply to school facility improvements. The county School Board has voted to build a new facility to replace the existing HCHS building, which opened in 1979. Proceeds from a sales tax would cover more than half of the projected cost of borrowing to pay for school construction.

In Virginia, localities are barred from imposing their own sales taxes unless authorized to do so by the General Assembly, with approval by the governor. The proposed Halifax County sales tax would not apply to groceries, medications, automobiles and other goods and services that are not subject to the retail sales tax.

This story will be updated.

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GOOD! Austerity should be the name of the game when it comes to spending taxpayer money!


I still cannot understand why you would want this bill to die before it even gets to the voters of Halifax County. You must be gery worried the residents would vote in favor of it, if not, why worry if it passes.

Also you like to bring up how poor our county is, so why not be in favor of this and pass some of the cost off to people who visit the county for races or other events? This bill would allow just that. If it doesn't happen, you'll be hearing me say "I told you so" when in the next year or two county residents are on the hook for all of it.


Look around at recent events, the school system JUST banned recording devices at the HIgh School, that’s most likely a reason this got pushed back. The esteemed Superintendent and the Halifax County School Board now have egg on their faces after a video surfaced of what’s REALLY going on st the High School. A new building is NOT the solution. The bill that is being considered will allow the County to tax for a period of ten years! Some say the school looks like a prison but prisoners act better than the kids at the High School. The administration needs to get a hand on discipline and the maintenance department needs to do its job in repairs and regular upkeep, while the cleaning staff needs to actually clean rather than just dump the trash cans and ignore the filth. A brand new school will simply be a reward for all around bad behavior and won’t change a thing in Halifax County.


Clouded why do you so want to raise taxes?!!?! IF the county lived within its means. This would not be necessary. There are many services that only people that don't pay any taxes get. I am sick and tired of paying for freeloaders! I am also sick and tires of the BOS and the School board thinking they magically know more because they got elected. Sorry I say level fund the schools. Stop pampering these kids, parents need to stop complaining about the teachers etc and get there kids to act right!

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