Judge overrules Albemarle County’s business tax arguments against a writer

Updated: Dec. 4, 2019 at 5:38 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, V.A. (WVIR) - The case between a writer and Albemarle County is moving forward. In circuit court on Wednesday, a judge overruled the county’s arguments that freelance novelist John Hart should be charged a business tax.

The attorney representing Hart from the Institute for Justice says the current tax code is vague. The other argument being brought up is the tax violates Hart's First Amendment rights.

“The First Amendment claim is because the tax actually exempts some speakers, it exempts the press, newspapers magazines, radio, and television. So if Hart were one of those speakers, he wouldn’t have to pay the tax,” Renée Flaherty, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, said.

In January, both sides will present their cases about the tax code.

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