The Carroll County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously June 8 to eliminate the unpopular county decals. The county will still be required by the State of Virginia to collect a motor vehicle licensing fee.
“There is nothing in this ordinance that is not required by law. The state basically writes the ordinance for you. All I can do is put it on paper,” Carroll County’s attorney, Jim Cornwell, told supervisors prior to the ordinance’s adoption. “There is no change to vehicles that are required to have the old decals to pay the license fee in this ordinance. There is no additional vehicles that will be required to do that. The changes relate to the license year.”
Instead of an April 15 deadline as in the past, citizens will now be required to pay the motor vehicle license fee by Dec. 5 of each year as part of their county personal property taxes. The license fees remain the same — $25 for each car or truck, $15 for each motorcycle, $25 for each trailer.
“We’ve left the fees the same and we’ve clarified some of the exceptions. If you have a valid current state license plate and/or registration, you will be subject to this (fee),” Cornwell said. “If you have a vehicle that does not have a current state license plate or registration, you will not be subject to this fee.”
Supervisor Sam Dickson said in essence the ordinance doesn’t change anything Carroll citizens are currently paying.
“Except the time and having no decal on your windshield,” Cornwell countered.
Buying a new vehicle will require paying the fee, Cornwell said, but trading a vehicle would not require paying another fee.
“But if you buy one and then you sell it, we are not going to prorate it,” Cornwell said.
Guy Clark of Lambsburg was the only Carroll County citizen to speak during a public hearing regarding the elimination of county decals. Clark strongly supported the measure.
“I moved here about a year ago from Tidewater, where we used to have people lining up for their stickers out the building, around the building, down the street. It was amazing for two and three days at a time,” Clark said. “I hope you give this a resounding yes. These stickers are a pain and they are not necessary. We took them off in all the Tidewater cities pretty much at the same time about four or five years ago. It has worked beautifully.”
Pipers Gap District Supervisor Dr. Tom Littrell then led the charge to eliminate the county decals.
“I make a motion that we would peel the stickers,” Littrell said.
Fancy Gap District Supervisor Manus McMillian seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Cornwell said the ordinance will go into effect Jan. 1, 2010, but the license fee will be reflected on personal property tax bills due Dec. 5, 2009.