The Accomack County Board of Supervisors met at 4 p.m. on August 16 for their regular monthly meeting. This report covers only those portions of the Board’s agenda that may be of interest to resident and property owners on Chincoteague. For full account of the meeting please refer to the minutes that will ultimately be approved by the Board.
Meals Tax Referendum
The Board discussed the forthcoming referendum on whether or not Accomack County should institute a tax on meals and prepared foods. There was animated discussion among the Board members and with staff over how much revenue the tax may generate, how much administration of the tax would cost and how much enforcement of the tax ordinance would cost.
Staff reported that originally they estimated the tax would generate $430,000 in annual revenue. However when they adjusted their model to leave out restaurants, convenience stores and grocery store delis that are located within incorporated towns, the revenue estimate fell to $250,000 per year.
On a 5 to 4 vote, the Board passed a resolution instructing staff to prepare estimates on the costs of administration and enforcement.
Supervisor Wolff reported that he had requested an association of Virginia restaurateurs to provide data on who uses restaurants, how often they eat out and how much, on average they spent. He offered this information for Virginia.
** The average citizen eats out 4.2 times per week
** The average purchase ranges from $4.35 at a fast food restaurant to $28.30 at an upscale restaurant.
**77% of restaurant sales are to local customers
** For every dollar spent on food 50% is spent in restaurants.
** Virginia cities have the five highest meals taxes of any cities in the U.S.A. The average meals tax in Virginia is 11.5%
The highway department continues to negotiate for rights-of-way from two property owners at the intersection of Rt. 175 and Rt. 679 in Wattsville. In June of 2001 the intersection was certified as requiring a stop light.
Ms. Thorton expressed her gratitude to the Highway Department for their prompt attention to the Chincoteague swing bridge during the recent heat wave. She reported that on two occasions the bridge was unable to close because of the effects of the heat. The highway department responded quickly and solved the problem both times.
Mr. Bull, Superintendent of Schools reported that Chincoteague High School will be ready for students when the school year begins immediately after Labor Day.
Property Value Reassessment
Tri-County Appraisals, Inc. provided an update on the county new property value reassessment program. The most significant goal of the program is to equalize property values throughout the county. The State Department of Taxation considers a good level of equalization to be 10%. That is to say the assessment of a property is neither 5% above nor 5% below market value. The current equalization rate in Accomack County is 60%. That is to say that property assessments range from 30% above to 30% below current market value.
Tri-County reported that they expect a typical property assessed at $75,000 will be assessed at $202,500 when the work is completed.
A copy of the Tri-County report is available at this link:
A copy of the reassement handbook is available at this link:
Wal-Mart has submitted a Conditional Use Permit application to develop a Wal-Mart Supercenter on Route 13 in Onley. The Department is currently reviewing the application for completeness. Wal-Mart held two information meetings with local residents on August 10.
Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Board considered a resolution to approve the Eastern Shore Hazard Mitigation Plan updated in June 2006. A copy of the plan is available through the following link:
This 133 page document is a PDF file that is 12.2 MB in size. Chapter 1 describes the hazards on the shore. Chapter 2 describes the risks facing the shore and states probabilities of occurrences and ranks the risks on a scale of priority hazard.
Highlights prepared by Bill Troxler
N.B. These notes do not constitute the public record of this meeting. The information contained herein is offered in good faith, is presented as accurately as possible, is thought to be a complete account of the proceedings. These notes are intended to be a public service devoid of political commentary for those who are interested in following the civic affairs of Chincoteague Island. Notes of the meeting are recorded, transcribed and distributed by volunteers who receive no financial compensation for their efforts.