Tax relief - an oxymoron in Virginia Beach


by Bob O’Connor
Citizen Action Coalition Inc. (CACI)

What is the prospect for some relief from our ever-increasing real estate taxes?

There is no relief is sight for years to come – if ever.  

There will be no relief if city council continues to increase spending year after year and the population of Virginia Beach remains static. More spending, no additional people to share the costs; therefore the same people will have to pay more. It follows that your real estate taxes will increase to pay whatever increase in spending our council decrees. 

In our previous Monitor, we showed a graph of the increase in real estate assessments.  Your have recently paid your real estate taxes.  Imagine that your real estate taxes will increase again next year by at least the same amount.  It could happen and probably will happen because the Virginia Beach five-year forecast shows an ever-increasing operating budget.   

The operating budget for this current fiscal year is $1.3 billion.  The five-year forecast shows that by 2008 that operating budget will increase to $1.5 billion. Who will pay the additional $200 million?  We will. And that is not the worst to come. 

Our city council is planning to spend about $1 billion dollars on several projects in the Oceanfront Resort Area Concept Plan (Reference the article “Request For a Business Plan” in The Monitor last September).  The plan includes the new convention center, the 19th St. corridor, Rudee Loop, and beatification of several gateways.  All these projects will be funded by debt.  The tax revenue from tourism will NOT be enough to pay the annual debt payments for all the major projects. 

Virginia Beach taxpayers, if council plunges ahead with all these very expensive projects, will soon be faced with a serious debt problem. Who will pay?  Who else is there? 

The five-year forecast for the operating budget and the massive expenditures for the Oceanfront Resort Area Concept Plan will determine your real state taxes for years to come. 

If you are fed up with your tax increases during the last few years and want to avoid similar increases throughout the next ten years, you must call your elected city council representative and/or the mayor.  Tell them, “No more real estate tax increases.”  

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