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Posted at 5:16 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Va. commissioners want streamlined sales tax registration

By Christy Goodman

Commissioners of Revenue in Virginia are advocating for local, one-stop shops for businesses to sign up for local and state taxes in order to better monitor collections.

Ingrid Morroy, Arlington's revenue commissioner, said a recent audit of the past two and a half years recovered $4.5 million in local sales tax that was sent to neighboring jurisdictions in error. The county had collected $40,000 that belonged elsewhere, she said.

"It is much more convenient for our businesses to do everything in one shop and we can make sure the revenue is credited to the right jurisdiction," Morroy said.

The City of Fairfax conducted an audit four years ago that found they had incorrectly collected $2.5 million of Fairfax County's tax revenue, said William Page Johnson II, commissioner of revenue for the City of Fairfax.

"We don't want to be surprised either way. We want to know what revenue we can count on," said Johnson, immediate past president and current legislative co-chairman of the commissioners' association.

Del. David L. Englin (D-Arlington) has agreed to introduce the state and local tax registration legislation. He said small business owners have told him that "anything we can do to reduce the bureaucracy and streamline the various interactions with the government it is helpful to them in terms of running their businesses."

The commissioners also are advocating for the right to audit state taxes or at least share local audits to stop repetitive work done by local and state auditors. They also support more DMV Select locations, or a local outpost of the Department of Motor Vehicles where residents can register their vehicles with the locality and state at one time, Johnson said.

"The bottom line is...these are initiatives that make sense from a local government perspective but also from the state government perspective. It is essentially streamlining the process," said Johnson, who added both the localities and the state would benefit from the measures.

Legislation regarding sales tax auditing will be introduced by Del. Benjamin L. Cline (R-Amherst). DMV Select legislation will be introduced by Sen. Henry L. Marsh III (D-Richmond), Johnson said

By Christy Goodman  | December 9, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  !General Assembly, Alexandria, Arlington County, Christy Goodman, General Assembly 2011  
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