By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors held their August meeting at the county’s administrative offices in Daleville last Tuesday.
Fire & EMS Chief Jason Ferguson recognized Pastor David Cox for his service with the Eagle Rock Fire Department (ERFD) as chaplain for the ERFD and throughout the Botetourt system. Cox served as part of the Car 75 response team in Oriskany and assisted with educating students at Eagle Rock Elementary School during Fire Prevention Week. Cox has served the community for 30 years and his and his wife and locating to Tennessee to continue serving in the ministry.
Chairman Dr. Richard Bailey opened the meeting by calling for a moment of silence for Ray Sprinkle, who passed away last Tuesday. Sprinkle was a prominent Realtor in the county and a former Botetourt County School Board member.
Deputy County Administrator David Moorman announced the retirement of Susan Tickner, who worked as a county Purchasing Manager for 10 years, and introduced Tickner’s replacement, Kim Hartman, an experienced accounts payable worker, as the county’s new Purchasing Manager.
Director of Economic Development Ken McFadyen introduced Christian Bayer, a Liberty University student who works at a local law firm and is an Eagle Scout. Bayer is excited about volunteering with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to promote its service. Bayer shared his heartwarming journey to his new role. The board gladly welcomed the newest member to their team.
Supervisor Steve Clinton asked the board to consider a resolution commemorating the 250th anniversary of Historic Fincastle. The board adopted this resolution. The Fincastle Festival takes place on September 24.
Planning & Zoning representative Jon McCoy asked the board to formally support a joint grant application for the Federal Safe Streets 4 All program in cooperation with Roanoke County and the Town of Vinton to develop a comprehensive transportation Safety Action Plan. As a part of the request, the staff is pursuing a commitment of funding to meet the 20 percent local match requirement, not exceeding $20,000. Planning & Zoning believes this is a one-time investment by the county. The board adopted this resolution of support.
The Safe Streets 4 All program funds local governments to produce a comprehensive transportation safety action plan and encourages collaboration at a regional level. The comprehensive safety action plan requires robust public engagement and a long-range goal of zero roadway fatalities.
The comprehensive safety action plan can leverage additional grant funding for transportation projects that implement the suggestions identified. This grant opportunity is one of the several opportunities made available through the federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The board adopted a resolution for the Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) rate for 2022. In 2005, the board adopted ordinance amendments regarding the PPTRA addressing the new reimbursement method for car tax relief for vehicle values from $1,001 to $20,000, with no taxing of vehicles costing $1,000 or less.
A state block grant ($3,418,137.01) has been received annually since 2006. This amount will remain unchanged unless General Assembly legislation has enacted and reduced the state’s subsidy from a targeted 70% (prior to 2006 under the Car Tax Program) to a smaller percentage.
In determining how to distribute relief among County taxpayers, the board adopted the Specific Relief Method in December 2005. This method allows localities to apply for state relief on a vehicle basis and show the specific amount of relief on each tax bill. This method is reflected in the county’s current billing format.
In 2022, based on projected vehicle values and the amount of tax relief to be provided by the state, the county’s reimbursement is projected to be 36%. For 2021, the approved relief percentage was 46%, with the taxpayer portion set at 54% of the entire tax amount. When applying a quarter of a million dollars in additional relief approved in the county budget, the total relief percentage increases to 39%. The 2022 relief (39%) and taxpayer portion (61%) percentages reflect increases in used car values.
The County Treasurer and Commissioner of Revenue worked together on this task. As required by the state, the Board of Supervisors is required to annually adopt a resolution setting the percentage reduction in personal property for that year.