The Henry County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to schedule a public hearing for its October 24 meeting to receive public input on a proposal that would qualify additional residents for real estate tax relief.
The Code of Virginia allows localities to provide tax relief for certain eligible residents. In order to qualify, residents must be older than the age of 65 or permanently disabled.
Additionally, Henry County requires that the resident not have a gross income that exceeds $17,000 or a net financial worth in excess of $50,000. The board is seeking to expand the income threshold to those making $24,000.
Along with the hearing on the real estate tax relief, the Board also scheduled a public hearing to discuss an increase in the transient occupancy tax from two percent to five percent. Revenues generated from the increase will be designated for tourism-specific activities at the Smith River Sports Complex. The transient occupancy tax is charged on hotels, motels, boarding houses, and travel campgrounds at a rate based on the occupancy of any room or space. The tax currently generates approximately $155,000 annually.
In other matters, the board:
- Approved items of consent.
- Heard the monthly delinquent tax collection effort report.
- Heard an update from Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HC) president Dr. Greg Hodges about the college.
- Recognized the presentation of the 2022 Achievement Award to the Henry County Fair. The fair was selected by the Virginia Association of Counties for its success over the first two years of operations since its reinstatement.
- Approved the notice, resolution, and submission of documents related to the revenue-sharing agreements with the City of Martinsville on Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre and the Bryant property.
- Approved an additional appropriation of $7,927 from state asset forfeiture funds for the purchase of a body-worn camera system for the Sheriff’s Office.
- Approved an additional appropriation of $547,575 in grant funds received through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the purchase of standby generators.
- Established a 30-day comment period beginning August 23, 2023, to receive additional input regarding the 2023 Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) application.
- Conducted a public hearing and denied a request to rezone approximately 13-acres of the Reed Creek District from Rural Residential District to Agricultural District. The applicant wished to sell the property to a new owner who sought to keep chickens and livestock.
- Conducted a public hearing and approved a request to rezone two lots in the Ridgeway District from Suburban Residential District to Commercial District. The applicant wishes to bring the property into zoning compliance and allow for possible expansion.