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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 88

    Document Title
    State and Local Government Responsibility and Taxing Authority

    Study Commission

    Enabling Authority
    HJR 532 (Regular Session, 1997)

    Executive Summary
    The Commission on State and Local Government Responsibility and Taxing Authority met a total of ten times in various locations throughout the Commonwealth during 1996 and 1997 to receive testimony and to examine the issues with which it was charged to investigate. Its members heard testimony from interested citizens, state and local officials, legislative staff members and economic experts.

    The focus of the commission during its first year, 1995, was on the business, professional, and occupational license (BPOL) tax that is assessed by the localities. The commission made recommendations to reform the BPOL tax administration and endorsed legislation which provided a model BPOL ordinance for use by the localities which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1996.

    Also to facilitate its work, the commission was divided into two task forces in 1995. The Services Task Force examined the nature of services provided to Virginians, while the Revenues Task Force explored the manner in which tax revenues are collected at both the state and local levels.

    In 1996, the commission continued the work of its two task forces which focused on issues surrounding four main areas: (i) educational standards of quality funding; (ii) state-mandated social services; (iii) state-mandated health services; and (iv) the transfer of the administration of the BPOL tax from the localities to the state.

    In 1997, the commission as a whole examined six topics: (i) the personal property tax on automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles, (ii) a state earned income tax credit, (iii) local taxing authority, (iv) local assessment practices, (v) the funding obligations of the Commonwealth, and (vi) the need for a permanent tax commission.

    The commission concluded its three years of work with findings and recommendations regarding these topics which are discussed in detail at the end of this report.