I can hardly believe it’s already August! It’s been great to see so many of you out at the county fair this week, as well as lawn parties and carnivals throughout the summer! As fall approaches, I wanted to let you know about a few upcoming events.
Augusta County Fair
The Augusta County Fair is going on right now. The Augusta County Republican Committee has a booth once again this year. This is a great opportunity to help the Republican cause! There are still time slots available for Friday and Saturday. You can sign up online at here.
Valley Business Summit
The details are set for the fourth annual Valley Business Summit! This event, hosted by Delegates Cline, Landes, Wilt, and me, is scheduled for August 17 at the Blue Ridge Community College Plecker Center. The featured speaker will be Elizabeth Milito, Senior Executive Counsel with the National Federation of Independent Business. She plans to discuss federal policy issues, such as the new overtime rule, and how these policy decisions may impact your business. The event is a great opportunity to network with local legislators and business leaders.
In addition to the featured speaker, you will also hear from a panel of local small business owners about their experiences. Numerous state and local agencies and business groups will be on hand to offer guidance on what services and resources they can offer to businesses. As always, it is a FREE event, but you are required to register.
You can register online here.
Sales Tax Holiday
This Friday through Sunday is the annual Tax-Free Weekend in Virginia. This weekend most school supplies and clothing items are exempt from sales tax. In addition, starting in 2015 Virginia's three tax holidays were combined into one weekend. This means that many emergency preparedness items and energy and water saving appliances will also be exempt from Virginia sales tax.
It is no secret to many of you that I have always been a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of a sales tax holiday. While I am in support of lower taxes, my concern is that these holidays cost millions in tax revenue that could be used in other ways. Most notably, this year this money could have helped prevent deferring raises for state employees and teachers. While I understand and appreciate the desire to help families save money on back to school supplies and clothing, I also see the sales tax holiday as a gimmick that can often benefit retailers more than consumers. My preference would be to see more meaningful tax relief as an alternative to these tax holidays.
All of that being said, I know that August can be an expensive month for many families, especially those with multiple children. I encourage you to take advantage of the savings this weekend. In addition to the tax exempt items, retailers have the option to waive the sales tax for other non-qualifying items as well.
For more information about this sales tax holiday, click here.
Information about the Zika Virus has gotten a lot of media attention this summer, particularly as it relates to the Summer Olympics. As you are likely aware, there are a number of cases of Zika virus infection that have been locally contracted in Florida. While roughly 80 percent of individuals infected with the Zika virus will not become ill, infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, and other severe fetal brain defects which can have life-long impact.
Health experts believe that it is highly likely that the Zika Virus will be transmitted locally in Virginia before the end of mosquito season. The good news is, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This primarily includes using mosquito repellent while outdoors and eliminating standing water in containers or other items that may be outside. While the Asian tiger mosquito does not breed in puddles or ditches, it breeds in container habitats with as little as a tablespoon of water. For more information about the virus, please visit www.ZikaVA.org.
Barbecue, Beans, and Bluegrass!
It’s almost time for our annual BBQ and Bluegrass Fundraising Event! Please see the invitation below.
Join Delegate Bell for his Annual BBQ and Bluegrass
with Ed Gillespie
and the local Valley Delegation
Thursday, October 6, 2016
6:00 -8:00 pm
Shenandoah Harley Davidson
213 Rolling Thunder Lane
Staunton, Virginia 24401
Yes, I will attend the annual Bell’s BBQ and Bluegrass at the following level:
_____$1000 Platinum Level
_____$500 Gold Level _____$250 Silver Level
_____$100 Bronze Level
_____$25 per person to attend (no Press passes)
Yes, I support Delegate Bell. However, I cannot attend the event but please accept my generous donation of $_______ to show my support!
Please make checks payable to “BELL FOR DELEGATE”
2620 Eston Drive Staunton, VA 24401
Political Contributions are not tax-deductible. Paid for by Bell for Delegate. Corporate Contributions are accepted. State law requires employer and occupation information for contributions over $100 in a calendar year.
If you prefer to send written correspondence, you may send it to Post Office Box 239, Staunton, VA 24402.
If you would like to make a contribution to me, you can donate securely online at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate.
As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.