Business license rules changes to list “writer” as taxable profession

Charlottesville City Council changed the rules classifying whether freelance writers and authors are subject to the city’s business license ordinance. The Virginia Supreme Court in City of Charlottesville v Regulus Books ruled earlier this year that Charlottesville’s ordinance did not sufficiently specify that work from the profession was not a “service” that triggered tax collections.  (read the ruling)

“In my opinion, [the ruling] curiously found a deficiency in our business license ordinance and this so measure attempts to… it will address it,” said Todd Divers, the Commissioner of the Revenue. 

Divers said the new ordinance creates a specific category for writers under subclassification H. Those are businesses that must pay $0.36 for every $100 of gross receipts.  The city has had to refund several thousand dollars in taxes to several people who had previously been taxed incorrectly. There was no discussion on Council and the motion passed 5 to 0. 

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