The Stuart Town Council approved assisting with the increase in vehicle personal property tax values at its Sept. 21 meeting.
The council approved removing town decals for vehicles, and valuing vehicles at 90 percent of their value for fiscal year 2022-23.
This action mirrors that taken by the Patrick County Board of Supervisors earlier this year.
Ray Weiland, mayor, said he doesn’t want to collect more money from town residents than necessary.
“Certainly, we didn’t need to do that. We don’t have a need to collect more taxes. We’re doing fine with what we got. It’s basically a wash and if we just eliminate that charge, I think it kind of makes sense,” he said.
Councilman Dave Hoback asked how these actions would affect the town compared to last year’s revenue strain.
Town Manager Bryce Simmons said to his understanding from county residents, the tax increased slightly. “I don’t think there was a decrease by any means,” he said.
Weiland said he doesn’t think the town should collect over one percent more than whatever it collected last year.
“We can cut the decals out, give everyone that break and then just follow suit with the county. I think it will just be easier,” he said.
In other matters, the council:
*Discussed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office. Simmons said it’s been mentioned that people would like to see more policing within the town.
“I think that would be a great use of funds for the town. It would show a partnership with the county,” he said.
Town attorney Christopher Corbett said this partnership would be cheaper on a per hour basis than hiring, certifying, and insuring a town police force. “I don’t think we necessarily need to go there,” he said.
Weiland said he’s talked with several homeowners who’ve said they would like to see more police presence in town, especially on Main Street after midnight, to make sure everything’s okay.
Simmons said entering into the MOU would allow for a dedicated town officer.
“The town is in the county, but this would help with delivering certified messages on behalf of the town, this would help with having an officer available for the various festivals the town has, so that would not be an additional cost,” he said.
*Discussed the town’s comprehensive plan. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Oct. 13 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Stuart Town office.
*Approved the meeting minutes as amended.
*Heard an update on the wastewater treatment plant.
*Heard an update on public work projects.
*Paid the bills.