Public hearing Feb. 22 on tax exemption for spouses of those killed in the line of duty

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LURAY, Jan. 11 — Page County Commissioner of the Revenue Becky Smith proposed a new tax exemption to the Page County Board of Supervisors at their meeting last Tuesday. The new exemption will be aimed at a very narrow group of individuals, and one that county officials hope doesn’t grow.

Smith proposed a code amendment to allow for “a tax exemption for surviving spouses of certain persons killed in the line of duty.” While such an exemption already exists for spouses of military personnel, the code amendment would allow the county to waive tax bills on real estate owed by spouses of law enforcement officers and other emergency services personnel killed while performing public service, according to Smith’s Jan. 4 presentation to the supervisors.

The supervisors voted unanimously to set a public hearing for Feb. 22 to hear public comment on the potential code amendment. The local action is allowed by the state, but the code amendment requires a public hearing.

In other business at its Jan. 4 meeting, the board of supervisors took the following actions:

• Newly elected chairman Keith Weakley wielded the gavel for the first time last Tuesday night after being elected to the countywide seat in November. Weakley replaces Dr. Morgan Phenix, who did not seek re-election after serving one, four-year term as chairman.

• Unanimously selected District 3 representative Mark Stroupe as the board’s vice chairman. The board selects the vice chair for a one-year term on a rotating basis. Stroupe takes over the position from District 2 representative Allen Louderback.

• Unanimously adopted its rules of procedure, which incorporates Version XXII of Robert’s Rules of Order. A few changes were made to outline participation via electronic communication, allowing votes to be cast during remote participation in a meeting (however, electronic participation does not meet requirements to qualify as a quorum), requiring the chairman to pass the gavel before making a motion, and stating that “should a member of the Board schedule a meeting with any individual, business, or Page County governmental unit having matters before the Board, the Board member ‘shall’ advise the County Administrator of the meeting.”

• Unanimously adopted its 2022 meeting schedule, changing the regular meeting days for the board to accommodate a request from Chairman Keith Weakley. The board will now meet on the first and third Monday of each month, rather than the first and third Tuesday. Meetings will still be held on Tuesdays when Monday falls on a state or federal holiday. Weakly requested the change noting work conflicts that required monthly trips to Atlanta.

• Voted unanimously to set a public hearing for Feb. 22 to hear public comment on a special use permit submitted by Jeffrey A. Cardwell to place a manufactured home in the Land of Luray Subdivision on Park View Drive, Luray, Va. The applicant is proposing to put a 13’8”x48’ single-wide on the lot. The property is currently improved with storage buildings. No issues were raised by regulatory agencies, and the Page County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval at its Dec. 14 meeting.

• Unanimously appointed Allan Betcher as the District 2 representative on the Page County Planning Commission for a four-year term beginning on Jan. 11, 2022 and running through Jan. 10, 2026. Betcher will fill the seat vacated by Steve Atkins, who did not seek re-appointment.

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1 Comment

  1. YES: on the tax exemption.
    The police, and emergency services are our Quick Reaction Force. We need to support them.

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