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Falls Church News Briefs

Virginia’s Sales Tax Holiday Is This Weekend

Virginia’s three-day Sales Tax Holiday starts this Friday, August 5, at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday, August 7, at 11:59 p.m.

Consumers can take advantage of the holiday for both in-store and online purchases, and can buy select items — school supplies, clothes and shoes, emergency and hurricane preparedness — without paying sales tax. With hurricane season often peaking in August, officials say it is a prime time to take advantage of the tax holiday by purchasing qualifying items that can help households in case a hurricane, or any other disaster, strikes.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Prepare website contains key information and the Build a Kit section has many items that cost $60 or less and qualify for the sales tax holiday, including: Artificial ice, blue ice, and ice packs, batteries, flashlights, lanterns, and glow sticks, portable radios, including battery-operated or self-powered, two-way radios, bottled water, nonelectric food storage coolers, first aid kits, cell phone chargers, tarpaulins or flexible waterproof sheeting, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

More expensive emergency preparedness items also qualify for the sales tax holiday, including portable generators and gas-powered chainsaws.

Additional items that qualify for the sales tax holiday include school supplies, clothing, footwear, and Energy Star or WaterSense products. School supply items must be $20 or less per item but do not have to be used in connection with a school activity to be eligible, while clothing and footwear items must have a sales price of $100 or less per item to qualify for the exemption. Energy Star and WaterSense products must be $2,500 or less and purchased for noncommercial or personal use.

F.C. Native Meredith Feted As ‘Best CEO for Diversity’

Falls Church native David Meredith, CEO of the Pennsylvania-based Boomi company, was named the ‘Best CEO for Diversity’ this week by the brand reputation platform, Comparably.

His company also won “Best Company for Career Growth” in the Largest company category.
Boomi is described as “a software company that specializes in integration platform as a service, API management, master data management and data preparation.”

F.C. Police Warn Citizens Of Multiple Scams

The City of Falls Church Police Department reports that it has received increased reports about phone and internet-based scams relating to business fraud, unpaid bills or taxes, and ransomware attacks.
“Community members should educate themselves, verify information, and report these scams when appropriate,” the police say.

“Your best course of action is to stay vigilant,” said Captain Kevin Ankney, Services Division Commander.
“If you get a phone call or pop-up window that asks or tells you in any way to send money, you should immediately be suspicious. Don’t ever willingly give out your information or confirm information without independently verifying the person on the other end.”

Some of the recent scam attempts reported to the City of Falls Church Police Department include: impersonator scams involving phone calls, emails, texts, or letters demanding payment and threatening of penalties or jail time if you do not pay; pop-up scams arising from clicking on a link on a phone or computer whereby a pop-up or alert states the victim has a virus with a phone number to call, where a person says gift cards, a wire transfer from a bank, access to a bank account, or provide remote access to the victim’s device are needed to clear the virus.

There are business email scams where an email from a boss or someone with authority in the company ask to send money through gift cards for a co-worker or to wire money from a business account.
There is an Outstanding Warrant scam, where a victim is contacted by someone claiming to be law enforcement about an outstanding warrant that must be paid off over the phone.

Perpetrators can spoof a phone number to make it look like they are calling from a legitimate police department or court.

The FBI’s page on Common Scams and Crimes has a comprehensive list of additional scams.
When a citizen receives a phone call or message from an unknown person asking for information or money, it’s important to verify who is contacting you.

Some scams make victims think they are liable for unpaid taxes, utility bills, or that they have missed a court appearance and will be arrested. The scammer insists money be wired immediately. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and utility companies will never call and threaten with arrest for unpaid taxes or utility bills.

Law enforcement will never call you requesting money for missed court appearances or failure to appear in court. When calls like this are received, they should be hung up on and reported to police.

Foust Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election in ‘23

John Foust will step down from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors after 2023, concluding a 16-year run representing the Dranesville District.

Foust announced at the board’s meeting this morning (Tuesday) that he will not seek a fifth term in office next year, when all 10 seats will be on the general election ballot that November.

“I will have much more to say about this as time goes by,” Foust said. “…For now, I just want to say it has been an absolute honor to serve on this board for the last 15 years. I just love it. I want to assure my constituents…that I and my staff will continue to work hard to represent you until my term ends on Dec. 31, 2023.”

First elected to the board in 2007, Foust has lived in McLean since 1987. His district includes McLean, Herndon, Great Falls, and portions of the Vienna and Falls Church areas.