Small Business Orientation
Charlottesville is a landlocked city with limited space for industrial development; small business, therefore, is and will remain the backbone of its economy. My experience and sensitivities working with small business have lead me to emphasize processes that are clear, efficient, and easily accessible for small business owners.
Remembering that we exist to serve the public, my office provides timely, efficient, and courteous service, along with accurate assessment information. We have simplified and expanded the City’s tax- and rent-relief programs to the extent possible, through the innovative use of technology and staffing. We continue to offer more and more online processes, including filing and payment of trust taxes, filing of business tangible returns, and many others.
While I am a Democrat, I fully appreciate that the Commissioner of the Revenue is not a political position. The Commissioner of the Revenue’s job is to help keep the City’s fiscal house in order. My office works diligently to fairly and equitably identify and assess those sources of revenue to which the City is entitled according to the laws of the Commonwealth and of the City of Charlottesville. Deciding how those revenues are spent, however, is not within the purview of the Commissioner of the Revenue; it is the task of City Council in collaboration with the City Manager. In short, the Commissioner of the Revenue must be a public servant first.
Elected Commissioner of the Revenue in 2013, I have spearheaded progress in a number of areas that have benefited the taxpayers of Charlottesville:
- We have simplified and improved the application processes for the three relief programs administered by my office;
- I have worked with Council to expand eligibility and enhance the benefits of those programs within budgetary constraints;
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked to further simplify our application/renewal processes in order to minimize the need for elderly and disabled applicants to visit City Hall in-person;
- We worked with the Treasurer's Office to implement a new tax software system for the City;
- I worked with Council and City Planners to bring short-term residential lodging into the City's tax and zoning structure. We were among the first in state to get a handle on this new enterprise;
- I helped Council to restructure business license fees to the benefit of small and mid-size businesses;
- We brought (and continue to bring) more and more processes online, enhancing convenience for Charlottesville's taxpayers;
- As a member of the City's Revenue Team, I work with other City staff to provide Council with the information it needs to make sound fiscal policy decisions;
- I have worked diligently with the Commissioner of the Revenue Association of Virginia and our partners in Richmond to ensure that our local and state tax codes are fair and consistent;
- I was instrumental in bringing DMV2Go services to Charlottesville;
- Annually, our office participates in the "Commissioner and Cans Food and Fund Drive" to benefit the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
- We partnered with the IRS and the Free File Alliance to provide access to free State and Federal income tax services on our website;
- I am active in the Commissioner of the Revenue Association of Virginia and currently serve as the Chair of the West Central District of that Association;
- I am a member of and serve as the Commissioners' liaison to the Virginia Association of Local Tax Auditors;
- I am a member of the the Virginia Association of Assessing Officers and the Virginia Association of Locally Elected Constitutional Officers.
Commissioner of the Revenue
The Commissioner of the Revenue is a Constitutional Officer, elected to a four-year term to serve as the chief tax officer of the locality:
- Assesses personal property taxes;
- Administers and collects business-related taxes: business license, meals tax, transient occupancy tax, short-term daily rental tax, and assists business owners with filing and compliance;
- Monitors sales tax distributions from the Commonwealth of Virginia for accuracy/timeliness;
- Administers the City’s tax relief and rental relief programs;
- Assists with filing of Virginia State Income Tax returns.
Paid for and authorized by Friends of Todd Divers