On Tuesday, voters in the Courthouse District of Floyd County, can either support the status quo or make a change in the Board of Supervisors by re-electing current chairman Casey Clinger or replace him with former supervisor Jerry Boothe.
Voters countywide have to decide if they want to give that same county board the ability to impose additional sales taxes on meals served in county restaurants that lie outside the town of Floyd.
The town already has such a “meals tax,” which it has the ability to impose under Virginia law. Most county governments, however, need voter approval through a referendum or other means. Supervisors decided to go the referendum approach.
In a way, the “meals tax” might be an underlying issue in the race between Clinger and Boothe. Clinger ran into controversy after discovery that his Pizza Inn restaurant had been charging the higher tax rate imposed by the town even though the business was just across the line in the county. At the same time, he was a strong critic of the way the school system handled the use of taxpayers’ money.
Clinger blamed the error on mis-programmed electronic cash registers, apologized to his customers, and repaid the extra tax to the Commonwealth. In interviews with both the Floyd Press and Blue Ridge Muse, Boothe did not bring up the matter.
Voters also face a governor’s race that is also seen as a referendum on controversial president Donald Trump, who is backing GOP nominee Ed Gillespie The Democratic choice, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, has faced acidic attack ads from Gillespie and has fired back with a few of his own against his opponent.
In the Indian Valley District, GOP candidate Justin Coleman, will most likely replace retiring supervisor Fred Gerald.