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Local Tax Administration and Collections

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Local Tax Administration

The following information summarizes the various local taxes collected by the Department of Finance. Please click on the highlighted links for detailed information, or call (540) 853-2880 or (540) 853-6826.


REGISTRATION FOR TAX COLLECTION FORM
All persons, businesses, corporations, partnerships or non-profit organizations must complete the Registration for Tax Collection form prior to collection of these taxes. A separate registration form must be completed for each business location. The registration form must also be completed each time there is a change of address or ownership.


ADMISSIONS TAX
The Admissions Tax is applied to the charge made for each admission to any amusement or entertainment. Every person receiving any payment for admission to any place of amusement or entertainment shall collect the tax from the person making the admission payment at the time of payment and also from persons admitted free. Monthly returns and payments are due on or before the 20th day of the month for taxes collected in the preceding month. Late returns and payments are subject to a 10% - 25% penalty with a minimum penalty of $2 plus interest.


PREPARED FOOD AND BEVERAGE (MEALS) TAX
The Meals Tax is a tax of 5% on prepared food and beverages purchased in the city. The Meals Tax applies to prepared foods and beverages regardless of whether the food is for carry out or consumed on the premises. Monthly Meals Tax returns and payments are due on or before the 20th day of the month for taxes collected in the preceding month. Late returns and payments are subject to a 10% - 25% penalty with a minimum $2 penalty. Businesses may also be required to hold a current business license and/or health permit.


TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY (HOTEL) TAX
The Transient Occupancy Tax is a tax of 8% of the total amount paid for room rental by or for a transient (guest) in any hotel or motel. Monthly returns and remittances are due by the 20th day of the month for taxes collected in the preceding month. Late returns and payments are subject to a 10 - 25% penalty with a minimum penalty of $2 plus interest.


CONSUMER UTILITY TAX
The Consumer Utility Tax is a tax of 12% on the charge made for water utility service provided. The natural gas and electric Consumer Utility Tax is paid by the consumer based on the amount of energy consumed. The Consumer Utility Tax rate on natural gas is based on hundreds of cubic feet (CCF) and the Consumer Utility Tax rate on electricity is based on kilowatt hours (kWh). However, during the period from October 1 through May 31, the tax does not apply to any charge in excess of $15 per month to the purchaser of electricity or gas service when the electricity or gas is the principal source of space heating in a purchaser-occupied private home or residential unit.


TELEPHONE SURCHARGE (E-911) TAX
Effective January 1, 2007, this tax is now a part of the state-wide Communications Tax administered by the Department of Taxation.


MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS (CELLULAR) TAX
Effective January 1, 2007, this tax is now a part of the state-wide Communications Tax administered by the Department of Taxation.


RIGHTS-OF-WAY USE FEE
The Rights Of Way Use Fee is paid by each customer who has an access line and is included separately on each customer's monthly local telephone exchange billing statement. The amount of the fee is calculated annually by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The Code of Virginia states that it shall not be less than $0.50 per access line per month and may be increased yearly. The Virginia Department of Transportation notifies Roanoke annually of the new rate which becomes effective each July 1st.

Effective January 1, 2007, there is a Rights of Way Use Fee imposed on cable providers. However, the Cable Rights of Way Use Fee is administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Taxation. More information is available at this link: Communications Taxes


CONSUMPTION TAX
State legislation that became effective on January 1, 2001 replaced three existing taxes with a new state-wide "Consumption Tax." The three taxes that were replaced are: 1) the State Gross Receipts Tax, 2) A regulatory tax imposed by the State Corporation Commission, and 3) the Local Utility License Tax.

As a result of the state legislation, consumers now see a line on their electricity and natural gas bills that says "Consumption Tax." Consumers had been paying the three taxes indirectly for years. These taxes were "imbedded" in the rates of the utility companies and are now separated from the rates and considered as a single tax.

The rates for the local (Roanoke City) portion of the Consumption Tax for both the electric and natural gas utilities are specified by Sections 58.1-2900 and 58.1-2904, respectively, of the Code of Virginia.


BINGOS AND RAFFLES
Effective July 1, 1996, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Charitable Gaming Commission began regulating bingos, raffles, and pull-tabs. A permit may be needed before beginning any gaming activity. Contact the Charitable Gaming Commission for details and information:

Virginia Division of Charitable Gaming
101 N 14th Street, 17th Floor
James Monroe Building
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 786-1681
(804) 786-1079 FAX
Complaint Line (804) 786-0293
E-mail: webmaster@dcjs.Virginia.gov


VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION - SALES & USE TAX INFORMATION
For information and updates about the new sales and use tax laws, please visit Virginia Department of Taxation