County to lose $47,000 in prison funds

Published 3:47 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

COURTLAND—Southampton County stands to lose $47,000 it has received annually since 2001 for having a state prison here.

State Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler, D-Jarratt, has introduced legislation to restore the funding.

The county receives about $50,000 a year from the state to offset the county’s inability to collect property taxes on state-owned land within its boundaries. The largest portion is a $47,000, in-lieu-of-tax payment for Deerfield Correctional Center, a state prison for men and women in Capron.

Another $3,000 is paid for the county’s state-owned boat launches, Virginia State Police headquarters in Courtland, a farmers’ market in Courtland and the state Department of Agriculture’s research lab in Ivor.

“At last year’s legislative session, buried deep in the budget bill and unbeknownst to the affected localities, the General Assembly exempted the Department of Corrections from paying the charges in the current biennium,” said Mike Johnson Southampton County administrator.

The exemption affects nine counties, which would receive a total of $1.4 million. Nearby affected counties include Greensville County, which stands to lose $200,000, and Sussex County, $415,000.

Tyler recently submitted a budget amendment to restore this funding to each county. Additionally, she and Sussex County Interim Administrator George Morrison appeared before the Appropriation Committee on Public Safety requesting restoration of $1.4 million to the counties.

Johnson hopes to see Southampton County get the money.

“It’s $47,000. In a $52 million budget, it’s not catastrophic, but we certainly would like to collect that revenue,” he said.

Tyler could not be reached for further comment.