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Urbanna Town Council asked to consider tax cuts

by Tom Chillemi

The Town of Urbanna collects about $6,000 in motor vehicle license taxes and about $13,000 in personal property taxes each year, former Urbanna treasurer Bob Calves pointed out to the town council during budget discussions on May 27.

Several times Calves has suggested the town eliminate these two taxes. “It’s a huge amount of messy work for the office,” he said, noting that the work occurs around Oyster Festival time.

One problem, said Calves, is that the town staff can’t easily delineate which of the tax bill addresses are sent to persons who actually live within the town boundaries, since many people use “Urbanna” as their mailing address.

Calves noted that the $19,000 revenue reduction caused by eliminating the personal property tax and motor vehicle tax could be offset by a transfer from the water fund.

Mayor Don Richwine contended the town is facing expenses for future water system upgrades.

Council member Joanie Ward said that since the town will have a surplus of funds this year, the personal property tax could be reduced or the real estate rate could be reduced by one or two cents.

Each cent on the town’s 24-cent real estate tax rate raises about $12,000 in revenue.

Council member Joe Heyman, who has worked closely on the budget this year, said the town has expenses looming in several places (fixing the town hall and the water system) and told council to be “cautious” about reducing revenue.

The $13,000 in personal property tax revenue seems like a small payback for the amount of work involved, Calves contended.

In comparison, Urbanna’s meals tax produces an estimated $95,000 in annual revenue.

The town council will consider approving the 2014-15 (FY15) budget at its monthly meeting on Monday, June 16, at 7 p.m.

Council also will hold a work session on Friday, June 6, at 3:30 p.m.

The public is invited to both meetings.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 06.04.2014

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