Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 57. Religious and Charitable Matters; Cemeteries
Chapter 5. Solicitation of Contributions
3/4/2021

§ 57-63. Local ordinances.

A. The governing body of any city, town or county may by ordinance not inconsistent with this chapter provide for the regulation and licensing of charitable or civic organizations soliciting within the city, town or county, and for penalties for violation thereof, subject to the following limitations:

1. No local license tax or fee in excess of ten dollars shall be required of any charitable organization.

2. No charitable organization exempt from registration under subdivision A 1, A 4, A 6 or A 7 of § 57-60 shall be required to be licensed. Any such organization may obtain a local license, without payment of any license tax or fee, upon compliance with all such requirements of the local ordinance as would have been applicable had it been registered with the Commissioner during each year in which it obtained an exemption letter under subsection C of § 57-60.

3. No charitable organization that has registered with the Commissioner for the current and next preceding three years, or exempt for such years under § 57-50, shall be required to provide any financial information.

4. No charitable or civic organization that solicits within the Commonwealth from a place outside the Commonwealth solely by telephone, telegraph, direct mail or advertising in national media, and having no chapter, branch, area or office within the Commonwealth, shall be required to be licensed.

5. No museum that has registered with the Commissioner as required by § 57-49 and that has been granted tax-exempt status under § 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code shall be required to comply with the regulation or licensing provisions of any local charitable solicitations ordinance.

6. If a charitable or civic organization shall designate by power of attorney filed with the Commissioner one or more persons authorized to sign on its behalf, the signature, verification or affirmation of any such persons shall be sufficient for all purposes of any local charitable solicitations ordinance.

B. Any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section may provide, inter alia, for procedures whereby charitable organizations may, for valid reasons, after an administrative hearing, be denied a local license or whereby a license may be revoked. Valid reasons for denial or revocation of a local license may be defined to include, without limitation, the expenditure of charitable assets for noncharitable purposes, any misrepresentation to the public or to any prospective donor, and any violation of state or local law. Any charitable organization which is denied a license may, within fifteen days from the date of such denial, apply for relief to the circuit court of such city or county or of the county in which such town is located. If the court is satisfied that the denial was for any reason erroneous, it shall provide such relief as may be appropriate.

C. No ordinance, or amendment thereto, adopted pursuant to this section shall be valid for any calendar year beginning after December 31, 1978, unless, before September 1 of that year, there shall have been filed with the Commissioner, on forms to be prescribed by him, information deemed by him to be sufficient for the purpose of advising charitable or civic organizations of the necessity for them to be licensed by such city, town or county.

D. No charitable organization shall be required to comply with the provisions of local ordinances if such organization has registered with the Commissioner or if such organization is a chapter, branch or affiliate included in the consolidated report of an organization or federated organization registered with the Commissioner, except that such charitable organization shall not be exempted from that portion of any local ordinance that requires such organization to register its name, the names of its solicitors and the dates and times that they will be soliciting in the locality.

1974, c. 574; 1977, c. 401; 1979, cc. 55, 595; 1983, cc. 282, 374; 1985, c. 82; 1998, cc. 104, 232; 2002, c. 85.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.