June 3 – TAZEWELL, Virginia – A proposal to increase taxes on cigarettes is progressing in Tazewell County, but the amount may change.
Eastern District Supervisor Charlie Stacy said only two people commented on the proposed 40-cent per packet tax increase in a public hearing Tuesday night.
“Two people have come forward to oppose the tax,” he said. “One claimed it was unfair to target smokers and the other was a business owner who felt Virginia had a competitive advantage in not having the tax that West Virginia does.”
Stacy said the trader provided information on the number of cigarettes sold in Tazewell County and asked that the tax not be imposed at 40 cents per pack.
“The board was only able to vote on the budget after the public hearing, so we’ll finalize it at our next meeting on June 29,” Stacy said. “I expect the tax to pass, but maybe not the full 40 cents.”
Stacy said county staff will try to determine if these cigarettes are sold in Tazewell County, how many would be subject to tax.
“All three cities already have the tax and ours would only apply to businesses outside of cities, so the number sold in the county is probably much lower than the total sold,” he said.
The county could raise around $ 250,000 a year with the tax hike, county administrator Eric Young said recently.
This money will be used to help fund $ 1.15 million in additional local spending to, among other things, equalize salary increases for some public school employees, sheriff’s office assistants and deputy clerks, who are not publicly funded.
These employees are locally funded and will receive the same 5 percent increase as teachers, assistants and clerks in state-funded public schools.
This year, the Virginia General Assembly approved a 5% wage hike for these publicly funded positions along with enacted legislation allowing Virginia counties to impose local taxes on cigarettes.
Young said no further tax increases were included in the proposed budget for 2021-2022, which represents $ 131.6 million in revenue with $ 130.2 million in expenses.
– Contact Charles Boothe at [email protected]