RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia is shedding its late 19th century oyster tax for an annual user fee.
The new system will spare watermen mounds of paperwork and return the proceeds of the user fee back to the Chesapeake Bay to replenish public oyster stocks. The new system begins July 1.
It will replace a system that required monthly reports and taxes on each bushel of oysters. The user fees apply to commercial oyster operations, not for individuals who grow oysters off their docks for their own eating enjoyment.
While the new system will generate more tax revenue, the industry is welcoming the change because watermen and oyster farmers say the time they spend on the old system is an expenditure of time and money.