By Dean Lynch
VACo Region 7 members met on June 25 at Germanna Community College to discuss issues relevant to the area. Topics of discussion ranged from taxes to education to transportation.
Several counties expressed concern to VACo’s Dean Lynch and Phyllis Errico about the potential eradication of BPOL taxes during a recent Regional Meeting in Culpeper.
The chief concern was the BPOL tax and some lawmakers aim to eliminate it. The discussion included an alternative proposal created by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Members expressed support for finding intelligent and meaningful solutions to offset the prospective loss of local revenue. This issue is likely to highlight the VACo Steering Committee Meetings on Aug. 16.
Another issue that was heavily debated was the 2013 General Assembly passage of the Opportunity Education Institution that appropriates managerial control of public schools to the state if schools fail to achieve accreditation over a three-year period (by clark). Questions were raised regarding the political composition of the board, marginal funding, county obligations and lack of benefits for current employees.
Members also discussed the implication of stormwater management requirements that arose from H.B. 2190, especially regarding regulation for individual homeowners.
During the meeting, VACo presented information about transportation legislation, including the 5.3 percent sales tax increase on July 1 and the Market Equity online tax to be allocated to transportation funds.
Other issues included:
• Finding a meaningful solution to the elimination of BPOL taxes
• Orange County’s involvement with uranium
• Difficulty in executing safety rescue on-scene time requirements that must be met 90 percent of emergencies
• Understanding constitutional officers pay allocations
• Understanding voter ID and voting machine criteria