From the Desk of Jimmy Franklin Hope Springs Marina
March 27, 2013
Dear Friends and Fellow Boaters,
It is with great pride and joy that I let you know of the progress of our effort to eliminate the personal property tax on boats in Stafford County. Having closely worked for nearly eight years with our Aquia District County Supervisor, Paul Milde, we have finally gotten some well needed relief. We were able to have Chairwoman Susan Stimpson, the Falmouth Supervisor, eagerly join us as well as Jack Cavalier, the Griffis-Widewater Supervisor as soon as he was elected last year. With seven supervisors on the Board, it requires at least four votes to pass a proposal. Our fourth vote last night came from Gary Snellings, the Supervisor from the Hartwood District. With a motion from Jack Cavalier, which was seconded and passed by a vote of 4 to three, the Board agreed to advertise that the tax rate on boats be reduced by 50 percent, beginning with the 2014 tax year. These four clear thinking individuals deserve special thanks from everyone in the county who is involved in boating in any way, including boat owners, boat dealerships, boat repair yards and boat storage facilities. It will help restaurants, gas stations, hotels and motels as well as a myriad of other trickle down businesses in the county. Please call or email them and offer your thanks for the difficult decision they have made.
But, our work in not completely done yet. With this motion passed, the rate can NOT be raised, but it CAN be lowered. The actual rate has not been set yet. Several weeks from now, the board will be tasked with holding a public hearing on the advertised rates, and after listening to all interested parties, will vote two weeks later to set the individual rates on each tax. One of these votes will be for the tax rate charged on boats. It was already lowered last night from $5.49 to $2.74 per hundred (based on 40% of the low trade-in value of the boat). This means that it went from 2.2% of the value of the boat to 1.1%. This will generate a projected $250,000 revenue for the county in 2014, but it costs it $20,000 to collect, netting only $230,000. Now is the time for each one of you to write a letter to each Supervisor and let them know that the rate needs to be lowered to one thousandth of a cent per hundred (the state does not allow the county to eliminate it all together……but, if set this low, it will not generate a bill). Thank them for cutting the rate in half, but let them know that they can do better. The revenue that this will generate is such a tiny portion of the overall budget, that it’s almost insignificant. These calls and emails need to go out NOW. We are on the 10 yard line and only have a short window of opportunity to reach the goal. This is a call for action….don’t just stand on the sidelines…..you can make a difference. One voice is hard to hear, but hundreds will be heard loud and clear! Thank the Supervisors who have supported us on this mission and promise to support them this fall if they are running for re-election. Ask the ones who did not support us to get on board and let them know that if they can’t support you, you certainly will not be able to support them. That’s politics and we are in the thick of it!
If you go to the following link: http://staffordcountyva.gov/index.aspx?nid=319 ,
you will see a picture of each supervisor. Click on the picture of the supervisor that you would like to contact and when their picture and bio show up, click on email. It will automatically set you up for an email to that particular supervisor. Type in your thoughts, check your spelling, and hit send. Join the team and get started right now……it can’t wait!
To anyone else in the boating business…….forward or rework this letter and sent it to your own contact list…..we still need all the help that we can get. Let everyone concerned know how close we are and that this opportunity may never happen again.