Archive for the ‘Town Center’ Category
Whenever the Virginia Beach City Council publishes a dollar figure for any project, citizens of Virginia Beach should not believe the numbers. Taxpayers should finally realize that our Virginia Beach City Council never tells us the full cost of a project.
Instead of telling us the full estimated cost of a project or series of projects, council invariably picks the proverbial “lowball” construction estimate, never suggests that there might be cost overrun and never tells us the interest costs. (All projects are developed using borrowed money.) Sometimes council changes the scope of the project thereby increasing the cost significantly, but does not publicize the new costs.
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Our Virginia Beach City Council has engendered a tiff between two citizens groups in an apparent effort to disparage one citizen group. A tiff, according to the dictionary is “a slight or a petty quarrel.”
However, the value of the Town Center TIF is not a slight or petty issue. But pitting one citizen group against another group is decidedly petty and should be beneath our city council. If council has any questions, any concerns about the data used by city staff to compute the amount of money transferred to the general fund by the Town Center TIF, council should request a revised report from staff.
City staff has already indicated the level of difficultly in identifying all of the relevant data. Council’s response to the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance request for the data seems to suggest that the report as written, without all of the data, is OK.
Another issue concerns council’s stated purpose prior to the development of the Town Center. Council emphasized that the Town Center would draw businesses from outside the Hampton Roads area that would move into town Center. That is, Town Center would draw new businesses and therefore additional taxes.
In addition to the correct data to evaluate the economics of Town Center, council should identify all of the new businesses that have moved to town Center from outside Hampton Roads area. The same report should show those businesses that have moved from elsewhere in the city of Virginia Beach to Town Center.
Taxpayers have a right to know the answers to these issues before council embarks on additional TIF districts.