On August 23, the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $250,000 in personal property tax relief for county citizens, increasing the value of the county’s support to residents and businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic by more than $40 million. The latest relief is a response to increased used car values and personal property tax bills this fall.
“Different localities respond to these situations differently depending on their particular circumstances,” said County Administrator Gary Larrowe. “Botetourt County has been creative and proactive to provide support to individuals, families, businesses, and farms since the start of the pandemic.”
In 2020, the Botetourt Board of Supervisors authorized $2.3 million in relief to cut real estate taxes by five cents. This relief was provided in partnership with Virginia Community Capital as a credit on taxpayer bills that year.
In 2021, the county provided relief grants totaling $264,000 to 82 businesses that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The county also provided $157,000 in relief grants to 50 farmers affected by the pandemic. It is believed that Botetourt County is the only locality in the state to provide such relief to farmers.
In addition to direct relief to county citizens, businesses, and farmers, the county has leveraged over $38 million in funding to expand Internet broadband services to achieve universal service across Botetourt. Work on the build-out of broadband services is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
“The importance of the extension of broadband services to all areas of the county cannot be overstated,” said Board of Supervisors member Dr. Mac Scothorn. “Enabling county citizens to be able to work, study, shop, sell, socialize, and get healthcare from home is a game-changer in people’s lives. We will probably never know how much that ends up boosting economic growth, educational attainment, and health and well-being across the county.”
While these are more challenging times financially for everyone, including county government, “providing workers, families, and businesses broadband access is, possibly, the greatest form of assistance we can give,” he concluded.
For information about the expanding broadband access in Botetourt County, visit www.botetourtva.gob/broadband.