Personal property tax increase proposed in Bath County for FY2015

A personal property tax rate increase in Bath County is being proposed for fiscal year 2015.  At the April Bath Board of Supervisors meeting, County Administrator Ashton Harrison said he is recommending raising the personal property tax rate by .35 to .70 per $100 of assessed value.   Even with the increase to .70 Bath County’s personal property tax rate would still be the lowest in the state.  The real estate tax rate will remain unchanged. Harrison said that recommended rate of .70 for personal property zeros out all the requests on the Capital Improvements Plan.  The proposed 2015 county budget is just over $21 million dollars, with it’s total being just about $18,000 less than this year’s budget.  The proposed budget includes an increase of about $700,000 in the schools budget and a decrease of about $720,000 in the county budget.  The draft budget and the Capital Improvements Plan are available online at, under public information.  The public hearing on the proposed budget and tax levies will be held April 29 at 7 pm.

At it’s meeting the board also adopted the Capital Improvements Plan.   The plan is approved by the planning commission and includes project requests from county departments that cost more than $30,000.  The plan includes requests for five years out.  For the first fiscal year the requests total over $1.7 million.  The plan is a recommendation from the planning commission and the board of supervisors will fill requests based on available funding.    

The board also voted on the provider for solid waste services for the county.    The board unanimously accepted Republic Services as the best value bid and permitted the county administrator and the county attorney to enter into contract negotiations.

Also at it’s April meeting, the board discussed the creation of a recreation policy and procedures advisory committee.  The committee will serve in an advisory capacity to the recreation department, will develop and update the policies and procedure manual and hold public meetings to get input.  The recommendation is to have a five member committee, but Board Chair Bruce McWilliams expressed concern that five people won’t be enough considering all of the parks and recreation programs, including senior citizen programs, sports, swimming pools and more.   County Administrator Ashton Harrison suggested setting a minimum number of members at five, with a maximum number of members to be determined.  Supervisor Claire Collins said even with a larger committee, subcommittees could be created made up of volunteers who are not members of the advisory committee.  Bylaws have been prepared for the recreation committee, but the board did not take action on creation of the committee. 

And the board approved two reappointments to the Industrial Development Authority, Mason Cauthorne to represent the Millboro District and James Gwin to represent the Cedar Creek District.


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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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