County Business Tax Goes Into Effect
Yesterday was tax day for virtually every business in Prince William County.
It was the day the county's Business, Professional and Occupation License tax, which assesses business operations on the basis of their gross receipts, became effective.
The new tax replaces the merchants' capital tax, which taxed only retail and wholesale enterprises based on inventory on hand Dec. 31.
Proponents of the new levy said that since it taxes all businesses equally and is used by most Virginia localities, it is fairer.
Opponents argued that the tax will keep new business and professional people from coming to Prince William County. Packets of informational material were sent to 4,000 businesses last month, according to county spokeswoman Joyce Eaby.
The tax must be paid before Jan. 31. Owners of firms that open after Jan. 1 have 30 days from the day they open to file and pay the tax.
In other developments, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors appointed Bruce Holley, a Dale City firefighter and a member of the fire department's board of directors, to the Industrial Development Authority. Holley was nominated for the post by Supervisor John Jenkins and will fill the unexpired term of Donald Chendorain, who was appointed to the county School Board. Both appointments were effective yesterday.
Also, the board increased the fine for commercial vehicles parked in residential areas from an $8 to a $25 minimum, with a $100 maximum.
The board took the action, it said, because the lower fee had not deterred commercial drivers from parking overnight in residential areas. The board also ruled that vehicles larger than a stepvan cannot be parked in neighborhoods longer than two consecutive hours. The new penalty is effective immediately.
And county residents will start paying an extra 55 cents on their telephone bills this month. The money will pay for installing an enhanced emergency 911 service, scheduled to begin in the fall of 1987.
Once the system is operating, Eaby said the monthly surcharge will drop to less than 50 cents a month. The improved 911 service will enable fire or emergency crews to pinpoint a caller's location through computerized information.
Eaby also reported that repairs on the new McCoart County Office Building to prevent roof leaks should be completed by mid-January. Centax Inc., general contractor for the new county administration complex, will pay the $50,000 bill. Shortly after the building was dedicated in September the roof began leaking in heavy rain. Manassas City Cable Hearing Set
The Manassas City Council will hold a public hearing one week from today at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall on a request by the Telesat Cable Co. to serve the city, which currently is served by Cablevision. According to Acting City Manager Clyde Wimmer, some residents have indicated that they would like a choice between cable services.
Wimmer said another decision facing the council is whether to advertise for a city manager to replace Macon Sammons, who resigned in November, or give Wimmer the job on a full-time basis. He previously served as acting manager in 1984, when longtime city manager C.M. Moyer retired. This time, Wimmer has applied for the position.
Vice Mayor Stewart Vetter said the council probably will decide at its Jan. 9 meeting.
Wimmer also predicted a tax cut this year. Current real estate taxes of $1.16 per $100 of assessed value may be lowered because of increased industrial and commercial development in the city. Boundary Change Called Priority
Getting the Manassas Park boundaries changed to include 674 acres of city-owned land in Prince William County is a top priority, according to City Manager Jerry Davis.
Negotiations between the city and county for the parcels collapsed last year when Brentsville Supervisor Joseph Reading, whose district includes the city land, declined to discuss the matter further.
Prince William officials had indicated they would trade the land for one million gallons of sewer capacity in the Upper Occoquan Sewer Authority, but Reading has said he wouldn't trade Prince William land "for water or anything else."
Davis said last week he has withdrawn his offer to trade, and city officials have asked state Sen. Charles Colgan (D-Prince William) to introduce legislation that would allow Manassas Park to annex the land. All but 106 acres of it are contiguous to the city.
Under a 1975 state law, jurisdictions no longer can petition the court for annexation but must negotiate for it. Manassas Park, which says that it wants the land for residential development so it can fill its schools, owned the land before becoming a city in 1976. New Ballpark Expected in Dumfries
The new year should bring a new ballpark for Dumfries, according to Vice Mayor Marjorie Davis. Five acres that the county gave to the town in September at the behest of Dumfries Supervisor Ed King already is a playing field, Davis said, but the 1986 town budget will include funds to provide landscaping, stands and other amenities for the long-awaited park. Haymarket Coping With Growth
The possibility that Haymarket soon may be connected to a public water line is helping dispel some concerns that come with development, according to Mayor Gertrude Bean.
The 170 town houses already on the drawing board and the 64 apartments now being considered by the planning commission could triple the town's population of 325 residents by the end of this year.
Bean said the town will welcome the water and will learn to adjust to new residents.
"It's really the school officials who are worried," she said.
According to school housing chief Charles Wildman, the two elementary schools just outside Haymarket, Tyler and Gainesville, are filled almost to capacity. Although a new elementary school is planned for a site west of Rte. 66 within the next five years, officials say that a middle school and a high school also will be needed by 1990. Quantico Water, Sewer Bills Going Down
Quantico residents can look forward to lower water and sewer bills this year. According to council spokesman Herb Saunders, new water and sewer lines being installed with $1 million in federal and state grants and loans will reduce expensive repair bills considerably.
Until the new line went in, the town was paying maintenance crews up to $10,000 annually to repair leaks and breaks in its 70-year-old system. The project should be completed in March, Saunders said.