Booster clubs at Arlington's three high schools won't have to use the proceeds from their hot dog and candy sales to pay the county's $25 business license tax next year under a proposal the County Board is to consider next month, County Manager Larry J. Brown said yesterday.
The decision earlier this year by Commissioner of the Revenue Geraldine M. Whiting to apply the license tax to the booster clubs angered the parents who voluntarily run the clubs.
The $25 tax applies to organizations with gross receipts of under $10,000 a year.
The parents contend that they save the county thousands of tax dollars annually on equipment and supplies for school sports teams and other extracurricular activities. The clubs raise most of their funds from concession stand sales at sports events.
The decision also annoyed County Board members, who are expected to approve the exemption at their Dec. 7 meeting. "The tax sends the wrong message," board member Michael E. Brunner, a booster club contributor, said yesterday. "We ought to be patting these people on the back and saying thank you for being volunteers."
Mark Jinks, the county's budget director, said yesterday that the exemption would apply to "any volunteer-operated organizations whose principal purpose is to provide assistance and support of educational or extracurricular activities" at both public and private schools.
The clubs, however, still would be liable for the tax this year because the exemption cannot be applied retroactively.
Whiting has said she opposes the tax for booster clubs and other small businesses, but that the law did not empower her office to exempt them.