COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Ordinance Amendment – Chapter 4, Animals and Fowl – Article I, In General; and Article III, Licenses
Public hearing to consider an ordinance to update the definitions and provisions of the animal ordinance relating to dog licenses to conform to Virginia Code requirements and to increase dog license taxes.
Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Wiggans, and Correa; and Ms. Lyttle.
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
September 3, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
The 2008 General Assembly amended the Virginia Code provisions relating to local animal laws and dog licenses to become effective on October 1, 2008. Title 3.2 will replace the current provisions of Title 3.1. On August 6th, the Board authorized an ordinance to be set for public hearing to update the County Code provisions relating to dog licenses and to consider an increase in the dog license tax effective for calendar year 2009. Other animal ordinance updates not relating to dog license taxes will be brought to the Board later this year.
The County has required dog owners that reside in the County and kennel operators in the County to obtain an annual dog license for at least the past forty years. The current dog license tax for a dog owner is five dollars for an unspayed and unneutered dog and three dollars for a spayed and neutered dog. The current dog license tax for a kennel is fifteen dollars for up to twenty dogs and twenty-five dollars for up to fifty dogs. The County’s dog license tax was last increased on February 13, 1985, and the previous increase was on December 20, 1973. Virginia Code § 3.1-796.87 (§ 3.2-6528) authorizes localities to establish a dog license tax not to exceed ten dollars per dog, and a kennel license tax for kennels of ten, twenty, thirty, forty or fifty dogs not to exceed fifty dollars for any one such block of kennels.
Goal 5: Fund the County’s Future Needs
Objective 5.1: Develop a comprehensive funding strategy/plan to address the County’s growing needs.
The attached draft ordinance (Attachment A) reorganizes and updates the County Code dog license provisions to conform to Virginia Code provisions and to mirror the language of the Virginia Code. In addition, the draft ordinance proposes to:
The draft ordinance is recommended to become effective on November 1, 2008 to correlate with the date the County’s 2009 dog licenses become available for purchase.
The unfunded legislative mandate enacted by the General Assembly in 2007 requiring veterinarians to report vaccinations monthly to localities required the reassignment of one full-time County employee devoted exclusively to the administration of dog licensing. In addition, the initial cost of enforcement under that new law was approximately $3,000 and the estimated recurring annual expense is $1,200.
The dog license tax revenue in 2007 totaled $11,630 for the sale of 3,022 tags. It is estimated that the 2009 revenue will be $24,793 at the current dog license fee rates based on historical sales and responses to violation notices to date (generated as a result of the monthly vaccination reports). The estimated 2009 revenue increases $18,627 to $43,420 if the Board adopts the proposed dog license fee amendment.
To provide the option to purchase two and three year licenses will require 28 hours of programming to modify the Finance software.
Staff recommends that, after the public hearing, the Board adopt the attached ordinance.
A - Draft Ordinance
Return to regular agenda