Sales tax increase proves beneficial to Charlotte County schools

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

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Close to two years after voters approved a 1% sales tax increase referendum to fund projects in Charlotte County schools, that account has reached over $ 1 million. 

Randolph-Henry High School is one of the county’s schools that officials say is in desperate need of repairs and will benefit from the additional sales tax. The sales tax provides the school board with guaranteed funds annually to repair and renovate areas of need in the schools, especially older schools like RHHS.

Normally, the district would also ask the state for funding help. But right now, there’s one problem. Nobody knows what the state budget will look like. 

When it adjourned in February, the Assembly still hadn’t decided between three budget options. There’s the House version, which is the most conservative. There’s the Senate version, which provides the most funding. And there’s Governor Youngkin’s proposal, which falls somewhere in the middle.

Currently, negotiators from the Virginia House and Senate are putting together a compromise, but that’s even up in the air. The governor called the Assembly back for a reconvened session, only to see that end without an agreement on the budget. 

Tax rates and Charlotte County schools

On July 1 2021 the sales and use tax rate in Charlotte, increased by 1% for a total of 6.3%.

This includes the 4.3% state tax, the 1% local option tax and the 1% additional tax for the county.

The tax is placed on beer, wine, cigarettes, and prepared foods.

This adjusted sales and use tax rate does not apply to food purchased for human consumption, such as groceries, or essential personal hygiene products, as both are taxed at a reduced rate.

This tax does not just apply to County residents; anyone who spends money while visiting, passing through, or doing business in Charlotte County is now contributing to the success of the school system.

The changes, allowing localities to hold a referendum to increase sales taxes to benefit education, are the result of legislation approved by the Virginia General Assembly during the 2020 session.