To the Editor: $280,092,577 Lost for Albemarle County Use

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$280,092,577 Lost for Albemarle County Use

If you are a newcomer to Albemarle County, you may not be aware that since 1982/1983 the citizens of Albemarle County have lost the use of $280,092,577 to build schools, roads, bridges, and courts due to an agreement between the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle.

In the early 80s there was concern that the City of Charlottesville was going to annex portions of the county and after much discussion and a referendum the Annexation and Revenue Sharing Agreement was approved by county voters.

In 1987, the Commonwealth of Virginia placed a moratorium on annexation of the type being considered by Charlottesville but unfortunately, the revenue sharing agreement was in place with no easy method to overturn it.

Some points to consider:

1. The City of Charlottesville has never shared a penny with Albemarle.

2. Several times the City of Charlottesville has cost the county unplanned expenditures, yet the county has continued to pay the annual revenue sharing fee instead of attempting to deduct these unscheduled costs from the annual payment. For instance, several years ago, the City of Charlottesville stopped supporting the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, yet citizens of Charlottesville still bring trash to the Ivy Transfer Station. Currently the county would like to move the courts out of the city but Charlottesville wants to complete a study. Delayed costs are increased costs to county citizens.

3. Thanks to the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, we recently learned that since the mid-80s, the gas bill to citizens included a built-in fee of as much as $3,700,000 (a program called PILOT), which went to the City of Charlottesville’s general fund. Since at least 1/3, if not more of those natural gas customers are county citizens, that money should come back to the county, not be retained by the city, or it should be deducted from the annual revenue fee.

4. Ask yourself what the county could do with the $15,767,084 you and your neighbors will give Charlottesville in January of 2017 or with the estimated annual $1,233,000 PILOT money that goes to the Charlottesville general fund from county citizens.

5. It is time for our county supervisors to take a tough stance and direct the county attorney to review the agreement with the idea that the city has breached the agreement by not including the PILOT funds in the annual calculations for the past 31 years.

This is taxation without representation.

Bill Schrader
Crozet

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