Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Cole’s BPOL Bill Passes Crossover

Del. Mark Cole listened to his friends in Stafford County rather than those in Spotsylvania County when it came to crafting his BPOL Bill.

Spotsylvania supervisors made that clear recently during a board meeting, and some said they thought Cole wasn’t being helpful with his bill, but rather he was being too political.

Here is information from a Cole press release:

Cole’s HB 57 would impose a freeze on the Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL) tax.  The BPOL tax was originally imposed as a way to raise funds to pay for the War of 1812.

“It is a very unfair tax because it is based on a business’ gross receipts not on income or profits; so a company could be struggling or losing money and still have to pay the tax,” Cole explained.  “BPOL can become a job killer, especially for small business.”

But it’s not just a freeze on the BPOL. Any locality that has not enacted a BPOL tax will never be able to if the bill passes. 

This bill perplexed members of the Spotsy BOS. They asked Cole to submit a bill that would make the tax based on net profits, and not gross receipts.  Stafford County supervisors repealed the BPOL Tax and this bill is obviously something the majority on the Stafford board requested.

Some Spotsylvania supervisors, such as Jerry Logan and Hap Connors, said they aren’t fans of the way BPOL works, but they do understand that losing the tax would mean millions of lost revenue. In Fiscal Year 2008, the BPOL tax generated more than $661.8 million for the counties, cities, and towns that imposed the tax. The BPOL tax is imposed in all 39 cities, 47 of the 95 counties, and many of the towns of the Commonwealth. 

Here is what Spotsylvania supervisors asked for: Support Code amendment language giving Spotsylvania County and other jurisdictions the authority to determine whether to use gross or net figures when Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) taxes are imposed.


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  • Sillyyouare1957

    go to Del. Cole for adding another tax increase to those who live throughout the Commonwealth of Va. In Spotsylvania Co. the BPOL tax generates $4 million. Del. Cole’s goal is to eliminate the BPOL revenue income in Spotsylvania County. That income can only be replaced by adding it to the taxpayer. Supervisor Logan has for sometime been speaking in opposition of the BPOL tax. By removing the BPOL tax, that means more money in his (Logan’s) back pocket. To me Supervisor Logan has a legal “CONFLICT OF INTEREST” on this issue. But he takes $8,500.00 of taxpayers money to provide health insurance for himself and his family, you figure.

  • lgross

    I don’t think that’s quite fair to Mr. Logan. Mr.
    Logan himself indicated that the BPOL is a source
    of revenue that even though it pains him as a
    businessman cannot be lost without finding a
    replacement equivalent.

    Using your criteria….. all the BOS could be said to
    have a “conflict” when setting the property tax
    rate – because it affects each one of them also.

    Mr. Logan has pointed out that a fairer tax would
    be not on the gross receipts but on the profit or
    net because this kind of tax is harmful to small
    businesses especially new start-ups.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard how much less that
    would be or any proposals for making that loss
    up (or not).

  • Sillyyouare1957

    lgross, give me a break. The “conflict of interest” issue is very clear and a first year law student would be able to pickup on it. If the BPOL tax is capped or eliminated, the financial impact would put money in the back pocket of Supervisor Logan and his family’s business. If a supervisor votes to increase taxes, that decision removes money from his or her pocket. Your comparison is just a little strange to say the least……

  • runnwlf

    Following your logic….if BoS members voted for a tax decrease, it would be a conflict of interest because it would put money in their pockets.

    So therefore, whoever is a BoS member would automatically have a conflict of interest. Go figure…

  • lgross

    well.. I’m not going to launch into a defense of Mr.
    Logan except to point out that he has the
    perspective of a businessman – unique to the BOS
    and has done well in my view in advocating for
    changes that would encourage more business
    activity in the county – and that’s good because it
    provides more jobs and tax revenues.

    on balance – his pluses way outweigh his “conflicts”.

  • caroldarby

    I think Mr. Logan is an honorable man and you have to trust that he has the best interests of the County in mind. Because he happens to own a business he cannot recuse himself from every vote on the issue. I think he can offer insight into the process. I would much rather “attract” elected officials who have had the benefit of experience they can bring to the citizens of Spotsylvania than those who have none of that knowledge to share.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Cole’s BPOL bill died in committee. But, not to worry. From its ashes will come yet another bill to eliminate the BPOL tax.