This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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Personal property tax rate now $3.40
The City Council tonight took the final vote required to raise the personal property tax rate on automobiles from $2.99 to $3.40 per $100 of value. As you have probably read at least a dozen times by now, this move is meant to keep revenue from this tax steady.
Because car values have taken a tumble, the city stood to lose $866,000 in this fiscal year if it didn’t raise the tax. A few weeks ago, council members talked about delaying a vote on this until after they could talk more in-depth about where city revenue comes from.
At a planning retreat two weeks ago, Councilman Brad Ellis asked if several capital projects could be postponed to help replace some of the $866,000, but the projects he pointed to were all funded with outside money. Besides, if you use saved capital money to replace a recurring loss in revenue, the same problem comes back the next year.
Ellis was the only one who said anything about the tax hike tonight.
"Every member of council has tried to look for extra savings in the budget," he said. "I just see no way around this tax hike."
In other news, the council approved four easements necessary for the Surgi-Center of Central Virginia to build a new facility next to Dixon Park on Dixon Street. In addition to the easements, the city and the developer plan to enter into an agreement to share parking spaces, to provide more parking for both the business and the park at times when only one facility is in heavy use.
The Surgi-Center is projected to bring in $302,440 in annual local tax revenue. The EDA agreed earlier this year to contribute $50,000 toward the $181,000 in development fees this project will entail.