A request by Pulaski County to change the ZIP codes of Fairlawn and Snowville from Radford’s was recently denied by the US Postal Service, but county officials say they plan to appeal the decision.
County Administrator Peter Huber said that the process began in May of last year when he sent a formal request to the USPS Appalachian District Manager Wendy English stating the reasons why the change should be made.
“Fairlawn is an unincorporated, developed area in the eastern portion of Pulaski County. Being located just across the New River from the City of Radford, there is significant confusion regarding the location of the municipal boundary between the City of Radford and Pulaski County. Also of concern is the 24141 zip code in areas of the Snowville Community. Snowville is a growing rural area of the County with one of the fastest growing income levels in the region with a significant likelihood for internet and mail order sales,” Huber wrote in the letter.
Huber said there have been several major errors in sales tax reporting where large businesses have reported their sales tax to Radford when it should have been Pulaski County or visa versa, which is inconvenient when it comes to dealing with the budget.
He also said that the allocation of sales taxes for Internet and mail order sales by ZIP code rather than by specific locality of residence results in further loss of sales tax revenues for the county.
Also noted in the letter was that “because the zip code crosses municipal boundaries, there are three sets of identical street names in the City of Radford and Pulaski County causing confusion for emergency response teams and home delivery of goods and services.”
English responded to the county by letter saying that the USPS uses ZIP codes to help identify simplify distribution and that there is no law that requires the use of ZIP codes.
“The postal service does not assign ZIP codes solely for community identity, tax purposes or prestige reasons,” she wrote.
Radford spokesperson Jenni Wilder said that the city is aware of the county’s request, but has no formal opinion on the matter.
Huber said that the county plans to file the appeal within the next few weeks.