Morris changes egg tax

Published 1:42 pm Saturday, January 31, 2015

Special to The Tidewater News

In the 2015 General Assembly, Del. Rick Morris (R-64) submitted HB 1295 to repeal the egg tax. The Egg Excise Tax is a 5 cent per case (30 dozen) tax for shell eggs, and 11 cents per hundred pounds of liquid eggs or liquid equivalent of other egg products.

According to the Virginia Department of Taxation website, the general liability of the Virginia Egg Excise Tax is “a tax is levied on shell eggs and egg products sold or consumed in Virginia. The handler of such eggs is responsible for payment of the tax.”

Del. Morris stated that he submitted the bill to repeal the tax after receiving numerous complaints from small farmers that their tax was less than the cost of the stamp to mail their payment.

Del. Morris stated, “The financial cost and administrative burden on the small farmer is more than the actual tax collected.”

Upon reviewing Morris’ bill, the Virginia Department of Agriculture reviewed the law and their policies and realized that the tax was being misapplied to small farmers and is only intended for industrial commercial egg producers. The Virginia Department of Agriculture worked with the Department of Taxation to modify their policy and adjust their collection procedures to ensure that small farmers are exempt from this tax as it was originally intended.

Any small farmer who paid the egg tax during the past three years is entitled to a refund and can contact the Department of Agriculture and Consumer services at 804-786-3501 for a refund of their tax payment.