Supervisors discuss new tax

Hold shortest meeting on record

By Heather Michon, correspondent

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors set a new record for the shortest regular meeting Wednesday (Jan. 23) night, with just 20 minutes passing between Chair Mike Sheridan’s opening and closing gavel.

There were no public comments. No public hearings. No action items. County Administrator Steve Nichols finished his report in about five minutes.

The only vote was on the consent agenda, a group of routine items that can be approved as a single package. The agenda passed with just a couple minor questions from members.

Under new business, Supervisor Patricia Eager mentioned the idea of a instituting an occupancy or lodging tax, now that changes to the zoning regulations allow residents to offer short-term rentals through AirBnB and other rental portals.

Greene County has instituted a 5 percent occupancy tax that has resulted in $55,000 in revenue.

“I say just leave people alone,” said Supervisor Don Weaver, arguing that the problem is that they spend too much, not take in too little tax money. “We’re always looking for another dollar.”

Nichols said he’d add an item to a future agenda for a more formal discussion.

And then the meeting was over.

Basically, it was the super blood wolf moon of board gatherings: a rare confluence of events that produced something unusual. (Although it should be noted that the recent eclipse lasted considerably longer than the meeting.)

There was some debate as to whether the previous record was 54 minutes or one hour.

This is not to say the board was slacking off. It’s the budget season, after all.

They first convened at 4 p.m. to hear presentations from 14 different area nonprofits, ranging from the Piedmont Housing Alliance to the Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACAA) to the Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District.

After that, they broke for dinner before reconvening for the regular meeting.

And following the short regular meeting, they went into a closed session, where they discuss legal and personnel matters. Board clerk Kelly Belanger Harris said in an email that session ended at 8:15 p.m.

As they continue working on the 2020 budget, supervisors will be meeting weekly for the next couple of months. “Better clear your Wednesday nights,” Nichols said.

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