Tax and spend, AFIs considered by BOS

The Chesterfield Board of Supervisors (BOS) will consider zoning ordinance amendments and policy of alternative finance institutions (AFI). On November 15, 2012 the Planning Commission voted 5-0 to regulate AFIs. These businesses include: check cashing establishments, motor vehicle title lenders, pawnbrokers, payday lenders, and precious metals dealers. Needing more time for research after a public hearing was held, the Board deferred the item to this week’s meeting.

  1. General Assembly legislation pertaining to local regulation of AFIs
  2. Operational questions about precious metals dealers
  3. Potential limiting impacts of distance separation standards on AFIs,due to existing precious metals dealer locations.

Last year the BOS approved five or more AFIs in the county, most of which will be located on Jefferson Davis Highway.

“Some people use these places but I don’t,” Calvin Soto said. “Once you start you never get out of the hole.”

There are currently 11 precious metals dealers in the county. The current distance separation standard that applies to precious metal dealers could reduce the number of other AFI businesses that could be located in the county.

According to the staff report it is recommended that precious metals dealers be removed from the draft policy. This change would allow other types of AFIs to be located within one mile of precious metals dealers.

Meals tax / bond referendum

The staff report used to help guide the BOS on particular issues reports this week that a meals tax may be needed to raise more revenue for the county. A bond referendum for schools is also being recommended by the Chesterfield’s School Board to renovate and add to existing schools. Both of these issues would be voted on by Chesterfield citizens in a fall election or referendum.

According to the report, “Chesterfield County is known nationally for offering a quality of life that is second to none, making the County a highly sought after destination for families and businesses alike, and maintaining that reputation has remained the top priority for the Board of Supervisors and county administration, regardless of the economic backdrop. Most recently, the Great Recession posed a sizable threat to the portfolio of programs and services that have made Chesterfield such a preferred community. However, the County was able to avoid any meaningful impacts to service levels by dramatically streamlining non-front line areas and aggressively promoting various economic development strategies. Now, as the recessionary waters are receding a new slate of challenges is beginning to emerge, and action is required to once again preserve the quality of life that has become this community’s hallmark.”

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