And now, for the rest of the story...

It seems there is a gentleman floating around town that has received the unofficial designation as the 'royal highness of city related appraisals' (he gets a lot of contract appraisal work from the city).  His name is Tom Tye.  Tom must have the necessary credentials to perform his job, otherwise the city would have no dealings with him.  

Most of the landowners who have submitted their property to be included in the Agriculture Reserve Program (Sodbuster Subsidies, which includes the ARP's Welfare Farmers' Retirement Program) will have their land appraised by the city to make sure the city isn't paying an inflated price, or buying a pig in a poke.  Well it seems the city's beloved Mr. Tye has decided to jump on the agriculture 'A Train'; no, make that the 'Gravy Train' (we wouldn't want to insult Duke Ellington and the song he made famous).

While walking through the scrub brush and loblolly pine trees way down in Virginia Beach near Chesapeake, Mr. Tye must of had a soy bean revelation:  Why not get his share of the Sodbuster Subsidy money without ever buying a plow, a tractor, or turning a field?  The ARP doesn't require the land to be farmed.  Heck, you don't even have to live on the land to get your snout into the public feeding trough.

And find some property he did.  

One of the parcels had an assessed value of $159,000.  For that that parcel your city council paid Tom $349,316 of your tax dollars for his development rights so he wouldn't build any subdivision on the God-forsaken property for 25 years.

Not too shabby for only owning the property slightly more than 7 months.

Parcel number two had an assessed value (including a dilapidated house) of $119,166.  Last year's taxes paid to the city amounted to $140.

Say What?

"Well, you see Jeb, the total assessed value of the property was $278,166 (Tye  paid less than that for it), and the city paid him $549,381 to not development the property for 25 years."

"Does that mean," Jeb asks, "that the city could have bought the land outright (fee simple) for less than it paid Tye just for 25 years of development rights?"

You good ole boys sure now how to figger!

For this land deal, your city council again saw fit to guarantee Tom a return of $200,065.

By the way, none of this land is being farmed, and from an uneducated country boy's view, it hasn't been for a very long time.  Don't expect to see corn growing there anytime soon. 

The only corn will be the type of jokes and stories being told about the all suckers in this deal - the Virginia Beach taxpayers.