Fredericksburg City Beat

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Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Time to talk about cities

I posted earlier about how a legislative proposal to extend the ban on cities annexing land from counties faced a veto threat from Gov. Tim Kaine. Kaine took that discussion a little further with The News & Advance in Lynchburg last week.

This story outlines the ideas he hopes to start talking with state legislators and city leaders about as the 2010 expiration date on the annexation moratorium nears. The N&A reports:

The tax revenue that’s sent from the state back to local governments could be distributed under a new formula designed to keep localities from competing with each other, Kaine said in an interview with the News & Advance.

Many cities also can develop revenue sources from the emerging trend of downtown renewal, as people move into condominiums built in restored warehouses and retail stores, Kaine said.

In addition, the governor said, there should be an easier way for small cities that struggle to support themselves to change their independent status and become part of a


Kaine said he wants to make those ideas part of a discussion he plans to have with state legislators and cities’ leaders this year, as the state’s ban on cities annexing county suburbs draws closer to expiring in 2010.

Kaine doesn’t harbor any inkling that annexation might return. Why?

"Annexation isn’t coming back,” Kaine said, because only 16 percent of Virginians live in cities. Sixty-five percent of the population lives in suburban counties, and legislators who represent them won’t vote for annexation, Kaine said. 

Discussion of this topic continues with an editorial in today’s Roanoke Times that weighs in on some of Kaine’s ideas.




  • lgross

    The basic problem is that all localities COUNT on the retail sales tax to SUPPLEMENT real estate and personal property taxes.

    To put this another way – places that do not have retail sales tax money have to have higher real estate rates…

    .. and so this become a potent driver not only in annexations but in jurisdictions building competing retail centers – sometimes to the point where they overbuild.. and the net result is the larger retail stores abandoning the older/smaller/less desirable venues.

    Take a look at the retail just EAST of I-95.. where the City Line USED to be.. before annexation…

    That’s where the major Retail and Grocery ..USED to be..

    Now look at what is happening to Central Park since Spotsylvania has been building their own competing retail venues.

    …. continued…

  • lgross

    This is what Kaine is talking about.

    If the retail sales continue to drop and actually permanently erode for the City.. will they then attempt to annex the Mall and/or Bragg Rd .. Giant, etc?

    It’s hard to imagine a fair justification for a city being able to do this.. but in the past they often got approval from judges…

    The issue between the City and Spotsylvania .. has played out across Virginia wherever there is a city and a county.

    Just look at Culpeper where the city and the county are currently fighting for sewer allocations.

    If Kaine figures something out.. he’ll have done something that none before him have…