Firefighter decals, exemptions dropped

Published 12:52 pm Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Kenbridge Town Council dropped its requirement for residents to come in and buy decals and now has the license fee appear on tax bills.

Beginning next year, the fee will be split on everyone’s June and December tax bill. The fee begins Jan. 1 of each year and expires on Dec. 31 of the same year.

In adopting the change to the town ordinance during its Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting, the council stuck with its decision to do away with the two-vehicle tax exemption for volunteer firefighters.

Some volunteer firefighters complained about losing the free decals, but councilmembers insist dropping the exemption isn’t to increase revenue but only to simplify bookkeeping.

Councilmembers also noted that the exemption is unfair because few of the local volunteer firefighters who respond to local calls live in town; and members of the rescue squad don’t receive the same exception.

“A $20 decal doesn’t do anything for me,” said Mayor Emory Hodges, a volunteer firefighter. “If you want to do something, do something substantial. … My suggestion is if you really want to do something for volunteers look at something else you can give them.”