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South Boston council delays decision on taxing no-license vehicles

SoVaNow.com / May 01, 2014
Unable to come to a consensus so far, South Boston Council members will continue to study whether the town should levy a tax on vehicles that do not display current license plates.

The issue came up during the Monday night meeting of Town Council, with members of the finance committee acknowledging that they haven’t been able to settle on a recommendation to the full Council.

Finance chairman Coleman Speece, speaking for the group, said he did not feel he had enough information to recommend an answer to the question, notwithstanding information provided by Town Attorney Amanda Morgan that state legislation allows localities to impose a $100 annual tax on vehicle owners who do not display current Virginia plates, as required by law.

Morgan also explained that the town may impose a $250 penalty on residents of the town who fail to register their vehicle with the Virginia DMV office as required by law.

While the ordinances seem simple, she explained that enforcement could be problematic, since it may be hard to determine whether the vehicle is required to have Virginia plates or whether the owner is in fact a Virginia resident.

While violation of the ordinances would constitute a misdemeanor, Morgan said it may be difficult to convince Commonwealth’s Attorneys to prosecute the cases or to get judges to hear them.
Wondering whether the outcomes would be beneficial or more trouble than they are worth — with some vehicles broken down or garaged or the owners domiciled in other areas — committee members asked Town Manager Ted Daniel and Finance Director Erle Scott to confer with local police to come up with a recommendation.

Earlier in the meeting, finance committee members heard Scott report on the March 20 sale of 12 parcels of property on which delinquent taxes were due and which had been advertised for public sale.

Taxes on one of the parcels were paid prior to the sale, leaving 11 to be sold.

Of that number only four were sold with the remaining seven bought by the Town for the amount of taxes due on them.

With attorney fees running $1,400 ($200 per parcel) and the loss in taxes totaling $1,388.60, the total cost of the unsold property sale was $2,788.60.

The total revenue realized from the sale of the four parcels that were sold amounted to only $74.54, leaving the town with a loss of $2,714.60.

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Comments

Got to love government math, only in government could you buy 7 parcels of land and still say you have a loss.

Comments

Code of Virginia § 46.2-734 and § 46.2-755.

'Nuff said.

I've researched the Code numerous times and have yet to see where anything in it allows a locality to charge that $100 unlicensed vehicle fee. Prove the statute that allows it.

Comments

"Of that number only four were sold with the remaining seven bought by the Town for the amount of taxes due on them." The government needs money to operate. Taxes go unpaid and the government cannot operate. In order to collect the money it needs to operate it forces a sale at public auction. At the sale, government spends money it needs to operate to pay the tax on the same properties that owed the tax. What the hell?


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