Showing posts with label real estate tax. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real estate tax. Show all posts

Friday, January 29, 2021

Gloucester County, Virginia's Real Estate Tax Deception

In January 2020, the latest of Gloucester’s real estate reassessments became effective. The overall value of Gloucester real estate changed from $4,391,807,486.00 to $4,659,865,396.00, resulting in an increase of $268,057,910.00 in overall value. At the current tax rate with the new assessment, the County gets an increase in real estate tax revenue (Money going into the County’s coffers) of approximately $2 Million.  
Shortly after this reassessment, the County and Board of Supervisors began budget deliberation for the FY 2021 budget, which covers the period of July 1, 2020 thru June 30, 2021. The County built this budget based on the increase in overall real estate tax revenue even though they did not hold a Public Hearing or vote on it until December 1, 2020, over seven months after the budget was approved.

During the budget deliberations and after, there was a big push to increase the local retail sales tax to provide money for various School System Capital projects. (Building new buildings parking lots, ball fields, renovating, replacement, repair, and such type projects.) The pushed narrative that increasing the retail sales tax would prevent real estate taxes from going up and would spread some of the Capital expense burden to people outside Gloucester who use Gloucester businesses and services sounded like a pretty darn good idea but for one thing, real estate taxes did increase, and they knew it the whole time they were spreading the deception. The biggest factor that allowed them to get away with this was the lack of Conservative Gloucester citizens who follow and engage in what is going on with our local government.

The County had the option of lowering the real estate tax rate to set it in line with the Real estate tax revenue it took in the year before. If they had, it would have resulted in the real estate tax rate being lowered from $0.695 per $100 in value to $0.659 per $100 in value. A $0.36 per $100 of value decrease in the rate. On December 1, 2020, five of our illustrious Supervisors voted to keep the $2 Million instead of lowering the rate. The two Supervisors who voted against this deception were Mike Winebarger of the Petsworth District and Phillip Bazzani of the York District.

On top of the real estate tax deception, five Supervisors voted to allow the School System to borrow nearly $6 Million to fund some of its Capital projects they were also claiming, at the same time, would be funded by the retail sales tax increase. Again, Winebarger and Bazzani voted against borrowing the money. The retail sales tax increase was passed by the voters in the November 3, 2020 election. This will give the School System another $5 Million, plus or minus, annually. The increase goes into effect July 1, 2021.

Below are links to where you can see and hear this information for yourself. I encourage everyone to visit these links.

Kenny Hogge, Sr. 

December 1, 2020 Public Hearing on the real estate tax Deception:

$6 Million Dollar loan public hearing:

2019 Land Book:

2020 Land Book:

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     
Mike Winebarger  
Andy James      
Robert Orth        
Ashley Chriscoe
Kevin Smith     
Phillip Bazzani   

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gloucester Citizens Speak Against Proposed Budget And Tax Increases.

Image result for gloucester va. chuck thompson
On Wednesday night the Gloucester County, Virginia Board of Supervisors held Public Hearings on the County Administrator’s proposed FY 18 budget and proposed real estate tax rate increase. The meeting was held at the T.C. Walker Education Center in anticipation of a large audience, but very few people showed up.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, a lady spoke about a feral cat problem she and her neighbors are experiencing. She told the Board she had spoken to one of the Animal Control officers about the cats, but said the officer said they had experienced drastic personnel cuts and could not spend time catching cats. She asked for more money to be provided in the budget for Animal Control to address feral cat issues. Maybe if Animal Control personnel did not spend most of their day needlessly patrolling the beaches, swimming pools, stores and other such places they would have time to do their job.

Another lady spoke of her family’s lengthy business history in the County and asked the Board to “please” raise taxes. She said the Board had made so many cuts in previous budgets and asked if they would start cutting funding for necessary things like our libraries. She obviously does not know they are throwing away over a quarter million tax dollars a year in library rent, taxes and maintenance. As a previously successful local business owner, I am sure she would agree that owning our libraries would be economically smarter than renting them.

The rest of the citizens who spoke were against raising taxes. We have provided videos of the Public Hearings on the proposed budget and on the proposed tax rate increases. It is worth taking a few minutes to watch and listen. We have also provided all of our Supervisor’s email addresses; take a few minutes to tell them raising taxes is unacceptable. 

Phillip Bazzani   
Chris Hutson     
Mike Winebarger  
Andy James      
Robert Orth        
Ashley Chriscoe  
John Meyer       

Public Hearing on FY18 Budget

Public Hearing on Proposed Tax Rates

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Real Estate Tax Email To The Gloucester, Va. Board Of Supervisors

Main Street--Old courthouse
Hello Readers. The following is an email that was sent to our Board of Supervisors about the County Administrator's proposed real estate tax increases. Feel free to copy and paste our suggestions in your own email to the Supervisors. All of the Supervisors' email addresses are included for your convenience. 

Phillip Bazzani   
Chris Hutson     
Mike Winebarger  
Andy James      
Robert Orth        
Ashley Chriscoe  
John Meyer       

Subject: Tax Increases

Greetings Board Members:

Before taxes are raised again, our local government should make the following changes:

1) Consolidate our local government and public school system departments. This one action will result in over a $1 million reduction in yearly operating costs.

2) Eliminate the County’s department of community engagement and return all functions to social services, information technology, county administration, the school system and the various nongovernmental organizations the department facilitates. This action will save the taxpayers close to $400,000 per year.

3) Build our own libraries and health department space so the taxpayers can stop renting them. Owning our health department space will also result in an $80,000 yearly revenue stream from rent payments received from the state. All together this move will result in a yearly savings of around $210,000 and create $50,000 or so in additional revenue after expenses. A new main library should be built on the new Page Middle School property where you are intending to build a new transportation facility. The Hayes library should be closed until space can be purchased or constructed. All funds currently dedicated to the Hayes library should be utilized to break the 20 year lease and to accumulate in a dedicated fund to build or purchase the necessary space. A new health department space should be built or purchased in the business park near the free clinic and Sentara buildings. The health department rent revenue from the state would eventually pay to buy or build this space.  

4) Limit the number of full time animal control employees to two, redirect animal control response calls through the Sheriff’s department dispatcher and cease all patrolling by animal control employees. This will result in a savings of well over $100,000 annually.

The changes we have outlined will result in a combined savings of around $1.7 million per year and create an $80,000 revenue stream.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Gloucester County, Virginia FY 2018 Budget Process; Get Involved!!

Image result for chuck thompson gloucester va. library photos
The Gloucester Board of Supervisors has now started contemplating how they will allow our local government to spend your tax dollars next year. The County Administrator is recommending a one and a half cent real estate tax increase which is the amount of increase the BOS approved last year. If the BOS follow the Administrator’s recommendation, the real estate tax rate will increase from to 69.5 to 71 cents per $100 of assessed value.

There is a small minority of people in Gloucester who, for one personal cause or another, want the real estate tax rate to increase significantly. Like I have many times in the past; I suggest those folks donate as much as they want to their causes and passions, but leave the rest of us out of it. The typical response to my suggestion is something along the lines of them not trusting that their donated money will be used for their cause. What sense does that make?

The majority of people in Gloucester do not want real estate taxes increased at all. I am one of those folks and believe there should be no further tax increases until our local government makes all money matters completely transparent to the public, eliminates all unnecessary spending, consolidates services with our school system, eliminates redundant and unnecessary services and establishes a detailed plan that quantifies and addresses our numerous and neglected infrastructure needs.

Over the last several years there have been efforts by a handful of us to encourage the BOS to put in place measures and policies that will enhance transparency in our local government. When the current BOS evolved through the addition of three board members who are up for reelection this November, they appeared to take significant steps towards making the County’s financial matters more open to the people. After a little over three years, the steps that were initially made have mostly been erased and we are now left with abandoned efforts and broken promises.

During the BOS budget deliberations last year; I pointed out several things our local government spends money on that are a complete waste of tax dollars. The most ludicrous of these expenditures is the amount of tax dollars they throw away on renting our public library and local health department spaces. In my opinion; the rental agreement for the courthouse library and health department space was created as an unethical backdoor funding mechanism to financially empower the Main Street Gloucester Preservation Trust. The taxpayers of Gloucester have and continue to be forced to provide money to this “not for profit” non-government organization that has taken control of the courthouse area of the county and the current BOS treats them just as good as prior boards did. The logical thing to do is close the Hayes library until a building can be purchased or built to replace it. All money currently budgeted to that library should be placed in a separate account to go towards buying our way out of the current lease agreement and towards building or buying the necessary library space. Money should be borrowed to build a new main library on the property where Page Middle School is located and to build new health department space in the Gloucester business park where Sentara and the free clinic are located. The Commonwealth rents the health department space from Gloucester County, so those rent payments will ultimately pay to build the building and will eventually turn into a revenue stream. All tolled our local government is throwing away in the neighborhood of a half million dollars annually by not owning our own library and health department spaces.

I also pointed out that almost a half million dollars is being wasted yearly on the community education department. Instead of breaking up this department and returning all of its functions to the school system, social services, information technology and county administration departments; our local government doubled down by giving the director a nice raise and by changing the name of the department to the department of community engagement. This department pays multiple people to manage community use of our public school facilities. Each one of these people receives a salary and benefits that are paid for with tax dollars. I suggested having each school’s administration office re-assume these responsibilities utilizing current school system employees and teachers. Even if we need to pay a few employees and teachers a little more money to perform this function after school, we will still save a significant amount on salaries and benefits by not having the extra employees. Social Services is the governmental department that is supposed to provide assistance to those in the community who are in need. The community engagement department facilitates and supports various non-profit, non-government organizations that should be supported and facilitated by our local social services department. If someone is in need, social services should be the one stop place to go to connect with available government and community resources. There was no need to create a special department to do this. Community engagement also responds to Freedom of Information Act requests for information and publishes the Beehive and the Weekly Town Crier. These functions and all other media and public affairs type functions should become a joint effort between county administration and information technology. There is no need to pay a director over $100,000 plus benefits yearly to manage these functions.

Gloucester’s animal control department spends most of its time patrolling the roads throughout the county. Last year I suggested ending the patrolling and turning animal control into a strictly reactionary department. If someone has a concern about an animal issue they will call. We certainly do not need to be paying employees to visit the public beach under the bridge and the York River Yacht Haven pool at Gloucester Point multiple times a day; or to hang out and shoot the breeze in various local stores. I also suggested routing all animal control dispatch calls through the Sheriff’s department and to limit the number of full time animal control employees to two. These changes should result in significant tax dollar savings and improve animal control’s relationship with the overall community.

These are just a few examples of the unnecessary and costly ways our local government frivolously spends our tax dollars. Consolidating county and school system functions is another way that Gloucester can significantly cut costs and enhance service. We will soon share what our BOS and School Board have done about consolidation over the last three years.

We have provided other information pertaining to Gloucester’s lease agreements, budget and real estate tax rates at the end of this article. Be sure to check it all out.

We encourage all Gloucester residents, landowners and business owners to actively follow our elected and employed local government representatives and administrators, and hold them accountable for their actions. Remember, all levels of government work for We The People.

Let us know what you think and share your comments and Gloucester government related stories by emailing us at or by posting remarks on the Facebook post that led you here.

Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point, Virginia
Helping To Drain The Swamp

The following are current real estate tax rates:
Gloucester……….69.5 cents per $100 of assessed value
Mathews…………54 cents per $100 of assessed value
New Kent………..83 cents per $100 of assessed value
West Point………72 cents per $100 of assessed value
York……………..75.15 cents per $100.00 of assessed value
Williamsburg…….57 cents per $100 of assessed value
Newport News…..1 dollar and 22 cents per $100 of assessed value
Hampton………...1 dollar and 24 cents per $100 of assessed value

Gloucester’s Proposed FY18 Budget Presentation:

Gloucester’s FY 2017 Budget:
View this slide share to see Gloucester’s library, health department and other lease agreements: