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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.