Supervisors thwart cigarette tax hike, anticipate increased real estate tax revenue | Local News
WISE — A proposal for a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax hike in Wise County died Thursday, but the Board of Supervisors was told another revenue increase with no increase in the tax rate.
The board, with new members Tim Boardwine and Randy Carter replacing outgoing supervisors Robbie Robbins and Bobby Cassell, voted 7 to 1 to reject the cigarette tax hike, with supervisor Bob Adkins supporting the measure.
The increase, which County Administrator Mike Hatfield said would have generated about $50,000 a year, would only apply to stores outside the municipal boundaries of the county’s six cities. He told the council that neighboring county supervisory boards were in various stages of reviewing their own 25-cent cigarette tax hikes.
Board Chairman JH Rivers, noting the concerns of several supervisors, said the tax could encourage county smokers to travel to neighboring counties to purchase their cigarettes and possibly other items they would purchase. in Wise County.
Revenue Commissioner Doug Mullins brought news on property tax revenue as part of the recently completed countywide reassessment. This process has helped the county realize 98% of the fair market value of all of its residential and commercial real estate, he told the council.
The revaluation translates to an average 3% increase in property values, Mullins said, with most of that increase coming from residential structure values. He said there were “very few” increases in the value of commercial structures and a small increase in the value of renovated commercial structures.
In terms of revenue, Mullins said, the county can expect a forecast of $300,000 a year in general reassessment fund revenue. As for the impact on taxpayers, he said a property assessed at $100,000 would see its assessed tax increase from $690 to $710.
Mullions said the latest set of reassessment notices were sent to ratepayers on Monday. The appeals process for landowners begins Jan. 18 and ends Feb. 17, he said, and landlords can schedule appointments during that time if they want to challenge their reassessments. Generally, anyone challenging a reassessment will get a decision within a week to two weeks, he said.
Appeals of reassessment decisions can be filed with the county equalization board beginning March 7, Mullins said, and the board of oversight must soon appoint a member for each of the county’s four districts so they can follow a state tax department training prior to appeals. period begins.
In other cases, supervisors voted unanimously to petition the Wise County Circuit Court for a November 2022 special election to fill the unexpired term of former Commonwealth prosecutor Chuck Slemp III.
The term of Slemp, who resigned this week to become the state’s assistant deputy attorney general under Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares, would have expired in December 2023. Steven Davis, who announced his candidacy as a Republican nominee in position, took the oath. as Acting Commonwealth Prosecutor on Wednesday. Former assistant county attorney Brett Hall also announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination.
The council also approved a county school board resolution to spend $233,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds on a design contract for a two-part school renovation project. The contract would include designing classroom, art and music spaces or other additions to Union Elementary School as well as renovating restrooms in 10 of the county’s 13 schools and learning centers.