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2012 Virginia Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2012)

handle is hein.sag/sagva0036 and id is 1 raw text is: COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINI
Officofth Attorney Qn
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Febmuary 24,2012                                8A=64796W
Ronald S. Hallman, Espiire
City Attorney for the City of Chesapeake
Office of the City Attorney
306 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
Dear Mr. Hallman:
I am responding to your request for an official advisory opinion in accordance with § 2.2-505 of
the Code of Virginia.
Issues Presented
You ask whether the City of Virginia Beach has authority to assess a Business Professional and
Occupation License (BPOL) Tax on an engineering company with Headquarters in Chesapeake but which
carries out business at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek - Fort Story (JEB Little Creek) located in
the City of Virginia Beach. Specifically, you ask two questions: 1) whether the United States' exclusive
jurisdiction over JEB Little Creek prohibits assessment of a BPOL tax on activities performed at that
location; and 2) whether the company, by operating a service trailer on the base, maintains such activities
at JEB Little Creek as to constitute a definite place of business' for purposes of the BPOL tax.
It is my opinion that, although the United States government exercises exclusive jurisdiction over
the Naval Base of JEB Little Creek, such jurisdiction does not prohibit the City of Virginia Beach from
assessing a BPOL tax on activities carried out by a private company on that land. It further is my opinion
that whether the activity of a business at a particular location is sufficient for it to become a definite
place of business is a question of fact to be determined by the local taxing official, or by a trier of fact if
litigated, consistent with the definitions set forth in § 58.1-3700.1 and 23 VA. ADMiN. CODE § 10-500-
You indicate that there is an engineering company (the Company) that maintains an office in
Chesapeake, Virginia. The Company renders vessel maintenance, alteration and repair services to the
United States Navy, often at the naval facilities, where the vessel in need of repair is located.
The Company for several years has performed its services at JEB Little Creek and maintained a
trailer there to support the same. You report the following additional facts to me. This trailer is used for
administrative purposes and contains desks and computers so that on-site personnel may interact with,
and follow the directions of, the project manager in the Company's Chesapeake office. The trailer does

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