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Public hearing set tonight on reassessment, real estate tax

Halifax County Supervisors are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the 2014 reassessment that necessitates a proposed 1-cent hike in the real estate tax rate when they meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.

Board members also are expected to appoint a supervisor to represent ED-3 during the Monday night meeting.

During the hearing, supervisors will receive comments on the revenue neutral tax rate increase occurring due to a drop in the assessed value of county real estate.

The assessment decrease is resulting in a proposed penny increase in the real estate tax rate from 45 cents to 46 cents.

According to County Administrator Jim Halasz, total assessed value of real property is less than last year’s total assessed value of real property by 1.51 percent.

The tax rate that would levy the same amount of real estate tax as last year, when multiplied by the new total assessed value of real estate would be 46 cents per $100 of assessed value.

County supervisors propose to adopt a tax rate of 46 cents.

All other tax rates are slated to remain the same with personal property remaining at $3.60 and machinery and tools tax remaining at $1.26.

A 1-cent increase in the real estate tax rate will generate an additional $362,600 in income for the county.

Following the hearing, supervisors will conduct a budget work session when they are expected to hear presentations by heads of agencies, commissions and departments.

Scheduled to speak are the following:

Don Burge of Southside Community Services Board;

 Jay Stephens of Halifax County/South Boston Libraries;

 Kathy Andrews of Halifax County Department of Social Services;

 Matt Leonard of Halifax County Industrial Development Authority;

 Patty Nelson of Southern Virginia Higher Education Center;

 Halifax County Public Schools; and

 Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Q. Martin.

Also during Monday night’s meeting, supervisors are expected to appoint one of three candidates in the running to fill the ED-3 seat on the Halifax County Board of Supervisors left vacant when Earl Womack resigned Feb 3.

Arthur Reynolds, Ray Owen and Lawrence Coleman were each interviewed by supervisors last week, but no vote was taken, and no decision was announced.

Supervisors did not make a decision at last Monday night’s meeting because two members, ED-1 Supervisor J. T. Davis and ED-8 Supervisor W. Bryant Claiborne, were absent from the interview session and regular board meeting held later that evening.

Also tonight supervisors are slated to adopt a bond resolution to accept a proposal from Carter Bank and Trust for financing county facility renovations and refinancing previous county debt.

At last Monday night’s meeting, Mitch Brigulio Jr. of Davenport and Company briefed supervisors on the results of requests for proposals being sought for county financing of facilities’ renovations for the temporary courthouse and sheriff’s department.

Davenport has recommended the board accept the financing proposal by Carter Bank and Trust because the bank offers the lowest interest rates and prepayment flexibility that will allow the county to prepay or refinance the loan at anytime with no penalty, allows the county to lock-in interest rates through April 2014 and offers the county a 20-year term with the lowest annual debt service payments.

Brigulio is expected to attend Monday night’s meeting should the board have any questions he needs to address. 

Also Monday night, supervisors are slated to hear a presentation from Williams Transco regarding the schedule and impacts of the impending natural gas pipeline construction in Southside Virginia.