Peace Consumer Protection Measure a Success

-- Business License Bill to go to Governor --

CENTRAL VA – One of the consumer protection bills introduced by Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) this session has passed both the House and Senate.  The measure will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration.  House Bill 713, aka the BPOL bill, requires any contractor applying for or renewing a business license in any locality to furnish prior to the issuance or renewal of the business license either (i) satisfactory proof that he is duly licensed or certified as a contractor or (ii) a written statement, supported by an affidavit, that he is not subject to licensure or certification as a contractor or subcontractor.  The bill also prohibits any locality from issuing or renewing a business license unless the contractor has furnished his contractor license or certificate number or evidence of being exempt licensure as a contractor.

The Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax is a tax on businesses for the privilege of engaging in business at a definite place of business within a Virginia locality. The measure or basis of the BPOL tax generally is the gross receipts of the business. The BPOL tax is a tax on gross receipts, not net income. Under current BPOL law, any locality may charge a license fee in an amount not to exceed:

 • $50 for any locality with a population of 25,000 and greater

• $30 for any locality with a population smaller than 25,000

The locality may not assess a license tax on gross receipts upon which it charges a license fee. Additionally, the locality may not impose a license tax on a business with gross receipts:

 • less than $100,000 in any locality with a population greater than 50,000

• less than $50,000 in any locality with a population of 25,000 but no more than 50,000

Peace stated, “This bill is a consumer protection bill which was brought to me by a resident of the 97th District.  Homeowners who hire unlicensed contractors to perform work may expose themselves to unnecessary liability.  Work performed by an unlicensed contractor is not secured by a warranty.  Homeowners and businessmen lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the mental stress, to uncertified/unlicensed contractors and craftsmen posing as contractors.’

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.