The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Friday, July 13, 2012
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
Boones Mill Town Council voted Tuesday night to rescind a cigarette tax of 25 cents per pack it had approved for its 2012-13 budget.
That decision came after some 20 people attended the council meeting to protest the cigarette tax, along with increases in the meals tax and real estate tax.
In response to the concerns raised by citizens at the meeting, town council also voted to decrease the real estate tax from 14 cents to 12 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Council also voted to decrease the meals tax from 6 percent to 4 percent.
Town Manager Lynn Frith said the citizens that attended the meeting were allowed to express their concerns to council, although the meeting was not a public hearing.
Terry Palmer, franchise owner of the Subway in Boones Mill, told council that the 6-percent meals tax that was included in next year's budget would cause a loss of customers, Frith said.
A spokesperson for Petroleum Marketers Inc. In Roanoke, the owner of the Shell station/convenience store in Boones Mill, said that the cigarette tax would be costly for the store to administer.
"One resident of Boones Mill told council if a 25-cent per pack tax was placed on cigarettes, he would go elsewhere to buy cigarettes," Frith said.
A public hearing was held on June 12 to get citizen input on the cigarette tax, but no one showed up at the meeting, Frith said. And no residents attended a public hearing on the town's proposed 2012-13 fiscal year budget, which included an increase in the real estate tax and meals tax, Frith said.
Town council will appoint a committee to determine how to make up the revenue from the cuts from the 2012-13 budget as a result of eliminating the cigarette tax and reducing the meals and real estate taxes, Frith said.
"We have to have a balanced budget," he said.
In another matter Tuesday night, council accepted a bid from M.R. Dishman & Sons of Danville for demolition of one of the buildings in the old North American Housing facility the town owns.
The low bid by the Danville company was $56,605.
The demolition cost will be paid from grant money the town has received from the Virginia Tobacco Commission for asbestos removal from the building, Frith said.