Saturday, June 9, 2018

Gloucester County, Virginia's Hidden Tourism Plan


Gloucester, VA - The Coleman Bridge.  Picture taken for the new Gloucester Links & News website. 

Imagine a tourist area that is made up of Colonial Yorktown with its’ battlefields, new Victory Museum, the Yorktown River Walk, the Waterman’s Museum, floating docks that can accommodate cruise ships up to 400’ long and numerous other tourist attractions. Further imagine two Virginia State Parks located on the York River in Gloucester; a National Park on the York River in the Capahosic area of Gloucester; the York River State Park on the York River in the Toano area of James City County and; New Quarter Park located next to Cheatham Annex and close to historic Williamsburg. Imagine tour boats picking up and dropping off tourists at each location as they navigate up and down the York River while tour guides describe locations of various shipwrecks on the floor of the York, the docks at the Navel Weapons Station and Cheatham Annex, watermen harvesting clams, fish, oysters and crabs, historical sites and so on. Imagine new marinas in Gloucester and more boats, jet skis and other watercraft enjoying the York River and it’s tributaries for recreation. Imagine Gloucester’s rich history being brought to the forefront and Gloucester becoming a high density part of Virginia’s tourism industry. Imagine ferry boats or an up river bridge connecting Gloucester to the Williamsburg area, creating a historic tourism circle made up of Gloucester, Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg. 

Now let reality set back in and let yourself begin to realize that a tourist area of that magnitude would cost hundreds of millions of dollars or more and would take a very long time to design, plan and complete. Let yourself begin to realize there would be even more negative impacts on commercial Watermen. Let yourself realize it will require more roads, housing, hotels, restaurants, fire and rescue, police, schools and bigger local government. Finally let yourself realize Gloucester County would no longer be the quiet little town it has been throughout history.

It is now time for a serious question. What would you say if you learned that such a tourism plan has been in the works for several years and that several steps have already been taken to move the concept forward without informing the People that such a plan exists? After reading the rest of this article we think you will realize that is exactly what is occurring as none of the steps taken thus far have included public statements from anyone acknowledging or even mentioning the existence of a non-publicly disclosed master plan that we believe has been in existence for over 20 years. Anyway, here are just few steps that have been taken publicly so far without the un-named plan being mentioned.

On February 14, 2014 the daily press reported funding for a new state park on the York River and Aberdeen Creek was being sought by local legislators to begin constructing amenities to include trails, camp sites, cabins and water access. The Daily Press reported that Del. Keith Hodges, R-Middlesex, and Sen. Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment, R-James City were seeking $8 million for work on the first phase of the park which include roads, a beach, swimming area, seven miles of trails, a fishing pier and other basic amenities. A 2011 park master plan estimated the cost of the first phase at $13.3 million. Hodges had also requested $600,000 to pay for staff and equipment to develop the park. The park has 2,260 feet of York River shoreline at an area where the river is two miles wide, it has 3,776 feet of shoreline along Aberdeen Creek, it encompasses 431 acres of land and was purchased in 2005 for $3.9 million from Newport News resident Pela Hundley during former Gov. Mark Warner's administration. (The same Pela Hundley who sold the new Page Middle School property to Gloucester County in 2004.) The property purchase was financed using general obligation bonds from a voter-approved state referendum in 2002. Phase two plans for lodging facilities at the state park include 30 camping sites and a group camp site, 10 cabins to include one three-bedroom, eight two-bedrooms, one lodge, a picnic area and a play area. More amenities are included with a price tag of $13.6 million for phase II. A 2010 park master plan estimated the total cost of the park to be around $28.2 million.

On May 20, 2014 the Daily press reported President Obama’s proposed budget called for spending $6 million on the Werowocomoco site in Gloucester and the John Smith Trail, which traces Smith's exploratory journey throughout the Chesapeake Bay area from 1607 to 1609. (The story behind this park coming to the attention of the President is another complex and somewhat curious story that will be covered in the future.) Governor Terry McAuliffe visited the farm that is owned by Bob and Lynn Ripley which was supposedly home to Chief Powhatan and his daughter Pocahontas when settlers arrived in Virginia in 1607. That during the Governor’s visit he is reported to have said the property could link Gloucester with the Hampton Roads region's famed Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg. The Daily Press further reported that McAuliffe said he had briefed and had the full support of Virginia's congressional delegation about the proposal for the national park. They also reported that he sees Werowocomoco National Park and the John Smith Trail as a way to draw tourists, help diversify the state's economy and bring money to communities such as Gloucester. The Daily Press reported that he said he can see tourists landing from the water.

On August 7, 2012 the Daily Press reported that the Gloucester Board of Supervisors unanimously approved establishing “No Discharge” zones in Gloucester. The establishment of these zones means boaters will be prohibited from dumping human sewage in the Piankatank River, Mobjack Bay and the York River and all of their tributaries. On October 7, 2014 the Board of Supervisors authorized the Gloucester Go Green Advisory Committee to submit an application for the establishment of No Discharge Zones in Sarah Creek and the Perrin River. Currently, the Federal Clean Water Act prohibits dumping untreated sewage from boats anywhere in the U.S., but does permit dumping treated sewage from certain marine sanitation devices in U.S. waters, except in No Discharge Zones. Once No Discharge Zones are establish even those with both device types will not be permitted to dump sewage in the No Discharge Zone waters and will be required to have human waste removed from their boats at marinas with waste pumping stations or through other on-land disposal facilities.

In March 2015 Lewis Lawrence, executive director of the Hampton Roads Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission made a presentation to the Gloucester Board of Supervisors on dredging Aberdeen Creek. During this briefing Lawrence said watermen have been raising concerns in recent years about their ability to get boats in and out of the wharf at the end of the creek. He further said that in 2009 the Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority and Planning District Commission were asked to study Aberdeen Creek as a commercial seafood hub, specifically looking at land-use issues and options for dredging. This study was funded through a grant from Virginia's Coastal Zone Program. (A “networked program”. established to manage Virginia's coastal resources, the program relies on a network of state agencies and local governments to administer the enforceable laws and regulations that protect our wetlands, dunes, subaqueous lands, fisheries, and air and water quality within the Virginia “Coastal Zone.) The Daily Press reported that the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is performing an economic impact study and that Lawrence said the dredging could cost $600,000 to $1.5 million, depending on the extent of the project. They further reported him saying the most probable cost should be around $744,000, or $93,000 a year which would be paid for by Gloucester taxpayers over eight years.

On April 16, 2015 the Gloucester Board of Supervisors repealed the Boat Tax, resulting in a $438,000 annual revenue loss.

On July 19, 2015 the Daily Press reported that Governor McAuliffe, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Department of Transportation met under the bridge at Gloucester Point where they signed a memorandum of understanding which asks the three agencies to work together to identify new potential public access projects, especially at bridge crossings and roads. The Daily Press quoted McAuliffe saying, "Where ever we have VDOT next to one of our state parks and [there is a bridge] or an opportunity for us to build at that waterway and allow people to access the water I want that done"

On October 20, 2015 the Gloucester Board of Supervisors received a presentation on what is being referred to as the York River Stewardship Program. The presentation primarily focused on what is being called the York River Maritime Heritage National Marine Sanctuary Initiative. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is legally responsible for the management of maritime heritage resources within designated sanctuaries. According to NOAA, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to, “…designate and manage areas of the marine environment with special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural, archaeological, educational or esthetic qualities as National Marine Sanctuaries.” In other words, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce will be in complete control of the York River, its tributaries and land that “may” impact the condition of the York River. Bodies of water that are designated sanctuaries under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act appear to be highly regulated, especially in the area of commercial fishing. The president of the Waterman’s Museum Board also shared that York River boat tours leaving from the Waterman’s Museum will likely begin during the summer of 2016.

As we said earlier, those are only some of the steps that have been taken to push along the un-named project. Other steps that have been taken include things like; several million dollars in improvements to Hickory Fork Road; multiple strategically placed mixed use development type plans that have been approved in Gloucester; strategic land purchases by a small number of individuals who obviously know more about the un-named plan than the general public; building Page Middle School on T.C. Walker Road with plans to relocate the school bus garage and sell the property being in the works long before the tornado damaged Page and; the efforts of the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust to re-construct Main Street, through a backdoor tax dollar funding mechanism called library and health department space rent. There are plenty more occurrences that clearly demonstrate a long and continuous effort by a few individuals to bring the un-known plan to reality and profit from it without letting the vast majority of Gloucester residents, businesses and property owners know what is actually taking place. There are people who live among us and elsewhere who have and continue to take advantage of knowing things the majority of Gloucester property owners have no knowledge of. Just like what went on with Page Middle School; the plans for the un-named plan have been created, the People’s money is being spent and when the time comes, the whole thing will be shoved down a huge majority of the People’s throats and the few who were in the “know” will profit.

We are not trying to advocate for or against the un-named plan as our primary goal is to let everyone know what is going on I Gloucester County. We realize there could be many long term benefits for Gloucester’s residents, businesses and property owners, but we also know that when things are done outside of the People’s watchful eye, many get taken advantage of so a few greedy individuals can profit. Our advice to Gloucester property owners is to hang onto what you have because within the next several years the value of your property will increase. Don’t be fooled by offers that appear to be high in comparison to Gloucester’s assessed value as the assessment is not a true reflection of your property’s true worth, even though the Code of Virginia requires all properties to be assessed at true market value. That does not happen in Gloucester. A prime example of this is the Route 17 frontage property that connects to the new Page Middle School property, which Harry Corr, now deceased, purchased one day before the School Board voted to build Page on that property. Mr. Corr paid the Pella Hundley Trust more than six times the properties’ assessed values, or so it would appear in Gloucester’s online land records. (Again the Hundley name comes up) As can be seen from this example, Gloucester’s assessments appear to be far lower than true market value.

Should Gloucester become a tourist destination and retirement community, or should it remain a place to live away from all of that?

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point, Virginia

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

8 Shires Distillery Investment Opportunities

There is presently an investment opportunity available with 8 Shires Distillery in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The investment type is called a debt derivative.  What is a debt derivative?  As defined on Wikipedia;  In finance, a derivative is a contract that derives its value from the performance of an underlying entity. ...Derivatives are one of the three main categories of financial instruments, the other two being stocks (i.e., equities or shares) and debt (i.e., bonds and mortgages).  This opportunity is only available for about one more week. 

Today being May 29th, 2018.  A little about 8 Shires Distillery.  From farm to table.  Locally sourced grains come from a local Virginia farm known as Hart and Son located between Gloucester and West Point.  750 acres of farmland and these folks use natural farming techniques producing high quality grains which include indian corn used in both 8 Shires bourbon and gin products creating very unique flavors. 

  What sets 8 Shires apart from any other Distillery anywhere is the commitment to 17th and 18th century interpretations of spirits produced by this distillery.  Years have been spent researching recipes and techniques in an effort to recreate the flavors of the past.  This caused interest with folks over at the Jamestown Island who do the archaeological excavations and interpretations.  They approached 8 Shires with the idea of recreating the first spirit ever made in what is now the United States.  They offered a very unique proposition that was just to good to pass up.  They found a well that was capped by Captain John Smith which was no longer producing enough water for the settlers.  The Jamestown folks managed to pull 20 gallons of water from the well and save it.  8 Shires has reproduced a single malt spirit using 10 gallons of that water for recreating the spirit of the time.  It's a single malt and it is slated to be bottled in hand blown glass bottles and topped with natural cork wired to the rim of the neck of the bottle. 

  Release date is expected to coincide with a special event happening at Jamestown Island in April, 2019.  Bottles will be 375 ml each and are expected to sell for about $500.00 each.  Other spirits being produced by 8 Shires are as follows, Silver rum, dark or aged rum, spiced rum, cordials that change with the seasons are about to be released, George Thorpe original which is a bourbon mash bill white whiskey honoring the father of American Bourbon, and the distillery is also working on a single malt similar to the first spirits ever produced in North America. 

  A trip to the distillery is quite a treat as you can view reproduction stills from the late 16th century all the way up to the late 18th century.  Plans are being finalized now to start outdoor interpretations of colonial distilling using some of the stills on display at the distillery.  While you are there, be sure to try one or several colonial drinks like the wicked maiden that is a favorite by just about everyone who tries it.  Also try a stone fence and be sure to hear the story behind the drink which is a wonderful American Revolution story that is indeed well reputed.  The distillery is located at 7218 Merrimac Trail in Williamsburg.  It is a bit difficult to find as the distillery is located in a building in the back part and the front of the building houses a church. 

Check out this link to view more details about this investment opportunity. 

 https://goo.gl/RE3p6H 


Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Continuing Saga of Moonbeam Bagels



Tales from the campfire
This is a work of fiction.

As the weather has been suitable for spending time out around the
campfire more people are out and talking about the great bagel shop in
the community.  We had wondered about the lack of open business hours
and the long hours into the night of the business while closed.
People have come forward and explained.  The business being open
interferes with the money making back door operations.

The front door operation had a very limited menu while the back door
operation has a huge assortment of chemicals used to alter your mood
and pain level.  We are now wondering if the backdoor business is
cutting the business of our local doctors and medical centers, but has
probably increased our emergency rooms and undertaker business?

We had also wondered why the business had such a huge presence, large
square footage, yet little front door foot traffic to justify the
large retail space.  Is the retail side for laundering all the
backdoor business income?

How do you go about ordering backdoor bagels?  Hold the cream cheese?
Can coffee hold a candle to the back door chemical pick me up?

While waiting to get your best in the area bagel or hanging out in the
parking lot (we have to wait because of the limited hours and highly
limited production) be sure to keep your smart phone handy to get
pictures of people going to the back of the building for business.

You have to wonder why the owner of the bagel shop was once
complaining about the spice shop that existed next door.  Did the
owner need the space for the chemical business or was the problem the
competition?

We need a good bagel shop, but one that has the front door open for
bagels that does not sell out in two hours each day.

Remember this is a work of fiction and tales around the campfire.  No
writer of this work of fiction uses illegal chemicals to alter mood or
pain level.

As we hear more interesting tales around the campfire we will share
them with you.  If you have any stories, fact or fiction, you would
like to share we are always here to share.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Villages of Gloucester Trying to Bilk Gloucester Taxpayers??


On April 3, 2018 the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on changes to the previously approved high-end golf course, residential and commercial development known as The Villages of Gloucester. (Previously submitted under the project name, The Barrens)
The following is an email I sent to the Board of Supervisors. Take a few minutes to send the Board an email asking them to deny The Villages’ proposal. We have provided the Supervisors' email addresses and the link to the public hearing information at the end of this article. 
Kenny Hogge, Sr.

Greetings Board Members,

The proffer statement contained in The Villages of Gloucester’s proposal is lacking to say the least. Once again, we have a developer who boldly expects Gloucester taxpayers and utility customers to foot the bill for future infrastructure and services upgrades that will be a direct result of the proposed development. This road has already been traveled two times in the past.
When The Villages of Gloucester was first proposed it was called The Barrens.  That proposal was denied by the sitting board of that time for, among other reasons, not offering reasonable proffers to offset impacts on the community. One such example was the developers offer to build a 350,000 water tower instead of a one million gallon tower.  (A one million gallon tower that would be turned over to Utilities was later approved when the proposal was resubmitted under the new name.) The developers initial offer to build the smaller tower would have been acceptable if Utilities only provided metered water to the tower and the development retained possession of the tower and associated distribution systems within the development. That would mean the development would have to retrofit their tower to be compatible with Gloucester’s distribution system; not Gloucester retrofitting our system to be compatible with the development. They would also maintain, repair and replace their tower and distribution system, read meters and bill and accept payments for water usage within the development. Under such a scenario there would be little to no impact on Gloucester’s public water system. 
Unfortunately, the current proffer statement eliminates the construction of a water tower all together. A piece of land that must be claimed by the County within five years is all that is offered; therefore, when buildout of The Villages reaches a certain point, the burden of funding the construction of a new tower and associated piping will fall completely on Utilities’ water customers and Gloucester’s taxpayers, while the developer walks away with a fat profit. That is not how free enterprise is supposed to work.
There are several other items contained, or not contained, in the new proffer statement that will result in future costly impacts on Gloucester taxpayers. The developer claims the project will be cost prohibitive if the proffers contained in the previously approved proffer statement are required to gain approval of their current submissions. Then maybe Gloucester is not the right place for such a development or the developer is not the right fit for Gloucester. 
Just because the developer’s project did not come to fruition during the time since it was initially approved is no excuse for not providing reasonable proffers in their current proposals; nor is it a valid excuse for the developer to expect Gloucester taxpayers and utility customers to enhance their profit margin or reduce their losses, whichever may apply.
The Villages proposal should not be accepted as being reasonable on numerous levels. Please deny the proposal.
Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point

Chris Hutson              chutson@gloucesterva.info 
Mike Winebarger       mwinebarger@gloucesterva.info  
Andy James               ajames@gloucesterva.info 
Robert Orth                rorth@gloucesterva.info  
Ashley Chriscoe        achriscoe@gloucesterva.info
Kevin Smith               ksmith@gloucesterva.info
Phillip Bazzani           pbazzani@gloucesterva.info  




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Internal Revenue Law, 1879, What Real Taxes Look Like

For many, the IRS is the most feared agency associated with the United States Federal Government.  And for good reason.  The IRS will freeze your bank account, seize your assets and more if they think you owe them money.  I have been posting on here for several weeks that the vast majority of people do not owe income taxes.  Most people find that very difficult to believe, because they were never taught the truth in school like they were supposed to have been taught.

  Keep the populace ignorant in order to control them.  So what are legal taxes?  We decided to go back into history and find evidence of what legal taxes look like and how the Internal Revenue system is actually supposed to work.  We do pay a great number of legal taxes, however, way to many people of these United States pay way to much illegal taxes.  The way that works is you are required to kno0w the law.  If you do not know the law, then by presumption of law, you owe taxes on your income.

 
Internal revenue codes of 1879 from Chuck Thompson  Book Digitized by Google

So the above digital book is provided to you so that you can see what lawful taxes look like.  Now keep in mind, our Federal government, all of our roads, communications, railways, military, weapons and supplies, public schooling and so much more was all financed through the taxation of certain specific commercial goods only.  It's right there in black and white as evidence for all to see.  There was absolutely no taxes on the wages earned by anyone. 

  Many people want to argue that the 16th Amendment gave the Federal Government the right to tax any for of income in any way the government wishes.  NO!  It did not.

"

The Kerbaugh-Empire Co. case

In Bowers v. Kerbaugh-Empire Co.271 U.S. 170 (1926), the Supreme Court, through Justice Pierce Butler, stated:
It was not the purpose or the effect of that amendment to bring any new subject within the taxing power. Congress already had the power to tax all incomes. But taxes on incomes from some sources had been held to be "direct taxes" within the meaning of the constitutional requirement as to apportionment. [citations omitted] The Amendment relieved from that requirement and obliterated the distinction in that respect between taxes on income that are direct taxes and those that are not, and so put on the same basis all incomes "from whatever source derived". [citations omitted] "Income" has been taken to mean the same thing as used in the Corporation Excise Tax of 1909 (36 Stat. 112), in the Sixteenth Amendment, and in the various revenue acts subsequently passed. [citations omitted] After full consideration, this court declared that income may be defined as gain derived from capital, from labor, or from both combined, including profit gained through sale or conversion of capital."

Now by all means, what is a gain derived from labor?  I went to the ultimate source for that answer.  The Bible.

 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
4One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

In other words, labor has zero gain.  Therefore taxes on labor can not be made.  A profit on labor, which would be a fair tax would be something along the line of profit sharing or bonuses paid.  Those items are taxable.  Those are profits on labor.  Labor itself is not a gain.  You don't have to believe in the bible to profit from it's words.  So for the purpose of income taxes, taxes on your wages, is not what you are supposed to be paying, unless you want to.  Then you volunteer.  Royalties from your work, that is taxable and is fair.  Pay for the actual work itself before royalties, not fair.  Even the IRS can not define income tax on wages.  It simply does not exist.

    https://youtu.be/YWZ10bpVmp0  The link here will take you to a video that shows very extensively that neither the government nor the IRS can explain taxes on wages as income or a gain and or profit.  In fact, the IRS has been losing cases against this guy for the past 30 years.  This guy even has lawsuits now up before Congress against the IRS and it's not looking good for the IRS either.  If we are going to fix this country, we all must take an active role and do some research and share that research with everyone.  

http://www.synapticsparks.info/evidence/c03/amend16.html  Details on the 16th Amendment and the Constitution.  Where the courts are in violation of the Constitution.



Now, there is a loophole in all of this for the IRS and the Federal Government.  Foreign workers are not the people of the several states or you are free to use the term, US Citizen.  As such the IRS has unlimited and unrestricted rights to tax wages of foreigners working in this country or people working overseas or in US territories, and earning wages from non US companies.  Then the 16th Amendment applies as from any source without apportionment.  Are you a foreigner?  I'm not.  It's how the tax code is written.  That has already been shown on this site.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Charlottesville, Virginia, City Selling Illegally Misrepresented City Bonds?

Charlottesville, Virginia.  City council just made a public notice that will not get much, if any attention at all.  But everyone must see this.  Every American needs to be mad as hell as to what is in that public statement.  And we want everyone to see this.

https://emma.msrb.org/SecurityView/SecurityDetails.aspx?cusip=A3CB8500ABB5512B9E5D3EAB268DFBDBB

  Above is a link to the MSRB, or Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.  On that site, this link will take you to the Bond offering by the city, at least their statement anyway,  Now, this may be just a standard form, and the wording may be the same on every bond in every locality, in every state and by every state.  The problem is how the funding for those bonds are stated.  You need to read this for yourself.  Below is the words I have a real problem with and consider to be horribly illegal.

  "The Bonds are general obligations of the City, and the full faith and credit and UNLIMITED TAXING POWER OF THE CITY, are irrevocably pledged to the punctual payment of the principle of and interest on the Bonds as they become due".

  What?  Who gave these scumbags unlimited taxing power?  Are they trying to read the 16th Amendment to the US COnstitution for their basis?

  " The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

Does anyone understand that the above Amendment gave no new taxing powers to the Federal Government, nor to the states?  That has been ruled on by the Federal Supreme Court over and over and over again.  No new power of taxation.  Google or other search engine returns all have data that is horribly incorrect.  We have posted evidence recently about this showing the true meaning of the 16th Amendment and that it does not grant the government any new rights of taxation.  Here it is again.  Watch the video.




What you will see in this video is the guy who wrote the tax laws, lie to no end about who has to pay taxes and who does not.  He uses the 16th Amendment in the wrong way.  Folk's you are being lied to everyday.  It is up to you to know if you are required to pay taxes.  And almost none of you are required to.   But Charlottesville Thinks they have an unlimited license to steal all of your money and more.  That is what unlimited means.  They can not only take everything you own, they can also bill you for so much more on top of it all.

  So, if this is in fact the case, then the City of Charlottesville has written some fraudulent paper that it plans on marketing to investors under false pretenses.  That is not only fraud, that is conspiracy to commit fraud.  This has so many violations against the people of the City of Charlottesville, the people of this state and the people of this entire Nation.  This is an outrage.  Again, it might be stated on every municipal Bond sold here in this country, but that is still fraud. 

(Story assistance by Marsha Maines)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Are Gloucester County’s Real Estate Tax Assessments Corrupt? You Decide

During a recent Gloucester Board of Supervisor and School Board candidate forum, York District Candidate Kevin Farmer expressed concerns about real estate tax rates and real estate tax assessments. § 58.1-3201 of the Code of Virginia requires all property to be assessed at 100% of fair market value. If that is the case, why does Gloucester County seem to adjust the values of property based on the amount of money needed to run our local government? I have been asking that question ever since Gloucester County Assistant Administrator Garrey Curry explained such to me about three years ago. When Mr. Curry rendered his explanation to me and another citizen, I told him under the method he described, one key element is left out of the equation; fair market value of the property.

During the candidate forum, current board members mocked at Mr. Farmer’s assertion that increases in certain real estate assessment values is how they have avoided increasing real estate tax rates each year. In Mr. Farmer’s defense, the County, through certain assessment value increases, increased revenue from real estate property taxes by $3 million since 2012.

I became even more skeptical of Gloucester’s assessments in 2016 when the Board of Supervisors approved a land swap deal with Gloucester resident Charles Kerns, Jr.; in which the County traded two pieces of property for one of Mr. Kerns’ properties. When the deal was first presented to the Board of Supervisors, then Chairperson John Meyer publicly asked, “Is the concept of swapping properties the way the County wants to do business?” He then said, “Sounds like it has the potential for a win win.” As it turns out, Supervisor Meyer had a stake in the land swap deal, in that the entrance to his personal estate shares a property line with the piece of land Mr. Kerns traded to the County.

During that time, I was an appointed At-Large member of the Gloucester Public Utilities Advisory Committee. Once I reviewed the seven properties contained in the land swap proposal, I discovered serious flaws in the assessment values of the three key properties contained in the deal. I pointed the flaws out to the Board and an independent appraiser was hired by the County to determine the value of the properties.

When the Board approved the land swap deal, their decision was based on the independent appraisal values. The combined value of the County’s two properties at that time was $35,000 and Mr. Kerns’ property was valued at $45,000. The combined assessment values of the County’s two former properties after the deal changed to $70,180 and the value of Mr. Kerns' former property changed to $41,780. At the time the deal was approved, Mr. Kerns’ property was determined to be worth $10,000 more than the property he received from the County. Within days of the deal being made, the property Mr. Kerns received from the County was assessed by the County to be worth $28,400 more than the property he unloaded on the County. Not wanting to be associated with corruption, I resigned from the Utilities Advisory Committee immediately after the Board approved the corrupt land swap deal.

The land swap deal story did not end there. Three months after the Board approved the deal, the Gloucester Mathews Gazette Journal listed one of Mr. Kerns new properties as being sold for $55,000. According to online property records; Mr. Kerns sold it to the property owner who has lived right next door to the property since 1998. Why didn’t the Board offer the property to the adjacent landowners before trading it to Mr. Kerns? Even Mr. Kerns’ offered to sell his property to Supervisor Meyer before offering it to the County. Something tells me the new owner would have preferred to buy the property for the $30,000 independent appraisal value; saving $25,000.

One can’t help but wonder if the whole corrupt land swap deal was perpetrated to keep anything from being built at the entrance to Supervisors Meyer’s and Mr. Kerns’ estates. One can easily assume the recent paving of the entrance of Summerville Road to the end of Mr. Meyer’s property line was funded with money from the land sold by Mr. Kerns. One could also easily assume this was done to move the entrance to Mr. Meyer’s estate so it is easier to find by his Airbnb customers. Despite whether or not these assumptions are correct, one fact remains; manipulation of the assessment values is clearly evident and is nothing short of government corruption. This deal needs to be investigated and those found guilty of corruption and conspiracy to commit corruption need to be held accountable.

Below we have provided a listing of randomly selected waterfront properties in four different areas of Gloucester County. Notice how the smaller the property is, the higher the assessed value per acre is. We have also provided a Slideshare presentation of Frequently Asked Questions about real estate tax assessments. 

Email comments to: Kennysr61@gmail.com
To read a detailed account of the corrupt land swap deal click on this link: http://www.gloucestercounty-va.com/2017/03/gloucester-county-va-real-estate-tax_50.html 


Waterfront Property Heywood Creek Area

RPC                Acres             Assessed                  Per Acre

34244             1.39               $209,110                  $150,439

13952            1.46               $260,770                  $178,609

30791            1.48               $208,560                  $140,919

43160            1.51               $145,940                  $96,649

26229            2.53               $222,950                  $88,123

10669            2.67               $243,790                  $91,307

30679            3.43               $280,310                  $81,723

13369            9.33               $364,960                  $39,117

33757            12.6               $404,020                  $32,065

31355            170.476        $636,730                  $3,735

Bena Area

RPC                Acres             Assessed                  Per Acre

28739            1                     $225,000                  $225,000

21922            1.25               $233,200                  $186,560

19725            2.88               $201,090                  $78,955

27404            5.25               $296,720                  $56,254

40850            6.39               $342,070                  $53,532

27619            6.46               $817,360                  $126,526

21425            9.3                  $365,060                  $39,254

21951            13.11             $402,110                  $30,672

41567            13.54             $346,810                  $25,540

14341            58.35             $1,190,730              $20,406

Ware Neck Area

RPC                Acres             Assessed                  Per Acre

16800            0.75               $211,490                  $281,987

21047            0.96               $222,850                  $232,135

22199            1.44               $256,780                  $178,319

16984            1.88               $239,750                  $127,527

10396            2.01               $233,520                  $116,179

23437            2.36               $236,480                  $117,652

22617            5.02               $340,480                  $67,825

43034            6.9                  $417,910                  $60,567

18864            7.39               $209,550                  $28,356

31023            342.57          $1,510,140              $4,408

Gloucester Point Area

RPC                Acres             Assessed                  Per Acre

34254            0.296             $131,440                  $444,054

29005            0.361             $145,470                  $402,963

30469            0.52               $178,910                  $344,058

18220            0.6                  $189,900                  $316,500

12063            0.93               $221,220                  $237,871

30104            1.23               $258,690                  $210,317

29202            1.49               $263,000                  $176,510

33908            2.49               $482,670                  $193,843

15105            3.58               $246,770                  $68,930

22581            17.49             $534,910                  $30,584

Slideshare presentation of frequently asked question about real estate tax assessments. (Compiled by Albemarle County, Virginia)