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Supervisors to set tax rate, fund school budget tonight

Setting the real estate tax rate  and appropriating $13,377,529 in local funding for the school budget are two items of business that top the agenda for Halifax County Board of Supervisors when it meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.

Supervisors are expected to act on recommendations of the finance committee and set the real estate tax rate at 46 cents reflecting a 1-cent increase from the current rate of 45 cents.

The $87.9 million budget draft proposes raising the real estate tax rate to counteract the decline in assessed values and pay for debt service to be incurred for renovation to the sheriff’s department and temporary courts.

Halifax County’s proposed new real estate tax rate of 46 cents compares to neighboring counties’ rates including Campbell at 53 cents, Charlotte at 48 cents, Mecklenburg at 38 cents and Pittsylvania at 56 cents.

Supervisors advertised a real estate tax rate of up to 47 cents which could increase the real estate tax rate by no more than 2 cents.

Also slated to be set are the personal property tax rate at $3.60 per $100 and machinery and tools tax rate at $1.26 per $100 value.

Supervisors also plan to appropriate level local funding of $13 million to the county schools again this year permitting the schools to enter into contract with teachers and staff for the new academic year.

In other action tonight, supervisors are scheduled to receive a monthly status report from Virginia Department of Transportation Residency Administrator Kenneth C. Martin and hold two public hearings.

The Halifax County Planning Commission held its hearing in March and recommended supervisors approve a conditional use permit by Cellco Partners for Verizon Wireless to erect a 199-foot telecommunications tower in ED-2 on the southeast side of James D. Hagood Highway (Highway 360), approximately one-third of a mile west of its intersection with Rodgers Chapel Road (State Route 607).

Although there is an existing tower within a mile of the proposed tower, a structural report of that facility indicates it cannot support additional equipment.

Following the public hearing tonight, supervisors are expected to take action on the conditional use permit request.

A second public hearing is set tonight on a conditional use permit application from Denise and David Hudson for Hudson Heritage Farms to operate a bed and breakfast, farm store and teaching facility in ED-6.

The site is located at 14242 River Road on the north side of River Road (State Route 659), across from its intersection with Ashton Hall Road (State Route 662).

Planners held a March hearing on the Hudsons’ request and at that time recommended supervisors approve the application.

In other county business tonight, supervisors are expected to take the following actions:

Consider approving a proclamation declaring the week of April 13-19 National Library Week;

 Consider a resolution to establish procedures for administratively setting required public hearings for processing land use, zoning requests and related items;

 Be informed public hearings have been advertised and scheduled on a conditional use permit request by David L. Rather to operate a taxidermy shop at 1151 Woodbourne Road (State Route 610), approximately 300 feet south from its intersection with Cedar Fork Road (State Route 643);

 Hear financial reports and updates;

 Consider appointing someone to fill vacancies on the Halifax County Planning Commission following the resignation of ED-6 Commissioner Clark Graves, on the Improvement Council and on the Lake Country Area Agency on Aging as well as recommending an appointment to be made by the Halifax County Circuit Court Judge. 

After supervisors conclude their open session tonight, they are expected to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss specific personnel matters; the acquisition or disposition of property; the protection of the privacy of individuals in personal matters not related to public business; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; consult with legal council; and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.