Stephens City again opposes property tax bill

STEPHENS CITY – Town Council approved a resolution to oppose a bill introduced to the Virginia General Assembly at its meeting on Tuesday, with a few slight changes.

House Bill 736, introduced by Delegate Dave LaRock, would repeal property tax exemptions for a list of organizations in Frederick County. The resolution considered by council opposed the bill and listed area foundations that would be made taxable if the bill passed.

Council member Joseph Hollis suggested that the resolution only list the Stone House Foundation, since it undoubtedly lies within the town. As originally presented, the resolution also included the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, Wayside Foundation for the Arts and the Wayside Museum of American History and Arts.

“I don’t see how we can exclude some and not others without good reason,” he said.

Town attorney David Griffin mentioned that when the town opposed the bill last year, the resolution sent included the entire list of organizations mentioned in the bill. Council ended up amending the resolution to only mention the Stone House Foundation and approving it.

Council also authorized finance committee chair Hollis and newly-hired town treasurer Stephen Rickards as bank signatories for the town. Hollis also moved to approve the salary range for the advertised position of a town police officer at $35,000 to $40,000.

Town Manager Mike Majher commended town clerk Susan Jarreau on her service with the town, as she will resign from the position effective Friday. He also thanked public works staff for their cleanup efforts after the recent winter storm.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com