Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Suspend BPOL for a year? I can hear some supervisors screaming now

If you missed this story, give it a read and pass judgment here. In 2008, Spotsylvania County received $4.9 million in revenue from the BPOL tax. If Mr. Mark Cole’s bill passes, that means the county would have to cut $4.9 million from the budget to make up the loss of this revenue. Here is why Delegate Mark Cole wants this bill passed:

"I just wanted to try to give small businesses a break," Cole said. "The key to the economic recovery is through the private sector."

Here is a story about a decision supervisors made last year with the BPOL tax, an action led by Jerry Logan, who owns an electrical contracting business. 

Any business that has gross receipts of $199,999 or less does not have to pay the BPOL Tax.  So, does this really give the small business a break?  Here is a quote from Supervisor Jerry Logan about why he is not a fan of the BPOL tax:

"The problem with the BPOL Tax is it taxes the gross revenues of the business," and not profits, Logan said. So, even businesses that are losing money still pay this tax.  "When a business is struggling to keep its doors open and having a horrendous year I just don’t think it’s right to hit them with a BPOL Tax."

On that same blog post, I assume this is an anonymous business owner who made this comment:

The exemption amount is $50,000, meaning that if I make 99,999, I pay nothing, and 100,000 leads to tax payment on $50,000 of revenue. If the exemption did not increase, then it will not help any businesses over the new threshold. Mine grosses $500,000 per year, but my expenses are almost the same!!!

There ya go. That’s more background on what’s going on behind the scenes here in the state. Would Mr. Logan still be in favor of deleting this tax knowing the county would be out $4.9 million a year? Maybe he will discuss it here on my blog. Maybe not. But the county is already staring at a projected $11.2 million shortfall for the FY 2010 budget, the school system is cutting millions from its budget because of state reductions, and now there’s the possibility of losing out on another $5 million?

I spoke with Spotsylvania County Treasurer Larry Pritchett today and he said the max any business can be taxed is $150,000 and the first $200,000 is exempt. So any business with gross receipts of $199,000 or less does not get taxed. He said there are a few businesses that pay the max, but he said the county attorney informed him that he could not disclose the businesses because it’s not public information. I suspect Wal-Mart is one of those businesses. 

Speak your minds? Businesses are hurting, as we watch Circuit City shut its doors forever. Everyone is hurting. Is this a good bill?

I know Supervisor Hap Connors thinks it is a horrible bill based on an e-mail he just sent me. 



Here are the rates for the business license:

















































 WHOLESALE MERCHANTS (gross purchases)



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  • lgross

    Given the issues cited – what would be wrong with
    configuring the tax to only apply to – profits –
    and to do so on an incremental scale so that
    businesses that are just barely making a profit
    do not get hit very hard?

    Why not have Spotsylvania ask Mr. Cole to
    amend his bill to take a softer approach?

    I would agree… you don’t get much tax anyhow
    out of businesses that are not yet mature
    enough to generate robust profits – and such
    businesses need a more supportive environment
    to succeed and they do provide employment
    which if nothing else is a net benefit to the

    The part I don’t understand about Government
    sometimes is they seem incapable of doing
    anything other than one-size-fits-all…. even
    when they know.. it’s counter-productive when
    done in that manner….

  • gramps

    professional pols is they are stupid. All they care about is the next election and how they can best get more votes than the opposition. I sincerely hope that Cole,s constituents are paying attention to the actions of this character. The real danger is the rest of those characters in Richmond will agree with him.

  • demosthenes

    What I can’t figure out is why the government expects everyone (citizens and businesses, both big and small) to be willing to fork over more money but they never look to cut budgets.
    When they do have to cut budgets they try make the citizens feel guilty or scared that they will loose key services.
    Dan, why don’t you post the line item budget for the county? Then we can see all the wasted money that the county uses and how they (local, state and federal) make theses programs to get votes.
    What people fail to realize is that they are being bought with their own money…well not their money but 5% of the highest earning tax payers money.

  • lgross

    I think the other thing here is that businesses do
    not pay taxes – they incorporate those taxes into
    the costs of goods and services that they sell.

    So when you put a BPOL tax on a business, it
    works exactly the same way that a sales tax

    It’s just another way of taxing the same folks
    who are already paying property taxes and sales
    taxes and other taxes.

    Don’ mistake my point here – I am not in any
    way, shape or form a ” no mo tax” guy.

    I do not identify with the right wing folks in Va
    primarily because fiscal conservatism requires
    smart ideas beyond just cutting taxes and our
    flavor in Va is primarily “cut taxes no matter the
    consequences” and that’s just plain dumb – also.