Cville Treasurer Finds Flaws in Forum's City Spending Report
Charlottesville's citytreasurer is looking to clear up any misconceptions about the city's spending. JasonVandever says the Free Enterprise Forum's "Choices and Decisions"report did not adequately depict the city's spending.
In the report, Charlottesville was at thetop of the region and ranked second in city spending across the state. However,Vandever says Charlottesville really is in the middle of the pack - 27out of 39 in Virginia.
He says that report solelyfocused on the operating budget and didn't take revenues into account. That meansnot all of the spending listed is actually funded by your tax dollars.
"Yes, spending is one sideof that equation, but to be able to make an informed decision, and ultimatelycitizens will have to make that decision as to what level of spending is appropriate,but having this information to know where this money is coming from, I think,is really valuable," said Vandever.
Vandever says the forum'sreport did contain good information to spark a discussion about spending.
Read the treasurer's full report on city spending an taxation here.
Charlottesville City Treasury Press Release
CHARLOTTESVILLE—Charlottesville City Treasurer Jason Vandever today released data that questions the implications of a Free Enterprise Forum report presented last month.
"By focusing only on gross comparative expenditures—without analyzing the sources of that governmental revenue—the recent Free Enterprise Forum study risks inadvertently fostering an incorrect depiction of the local tax burden and expenditures of the Commonwealth's cities…and…in particular, fostering an incorrect depiction of the situation in the City of Charlottesville," said Vandever.
The September, 2013 report by the Free Enterprise Forum concluded that Charlottesville ranked 2nd statewide in per capita spending.
"A more comprehensive analysis of the data actually reveals that Charlottesville is in fact a relatively low tax-burden jurisdiction compared to its peers," noted Vandever.
Vandever's analysis reveals that Charlottesville actually ranks 27th out of Virginia's 39 cities in spending generated from local taxation, and ranked 26th of the 39 cities in the measurement of "burden" in the use of local taxation for operational expenditures.
"Charlottesville is fairly unique among Virginia localities because 57% of the city's operational funds come from sources other than local taxation," he said. "That means the majority of operational spending is not funded from local tax dollars."
Charlottesville's real estate and personal property tax rates ranked 18th and 17th respectively out of Virginia's 39 cities.
Vandever went on to note that "as Charlottesville's elected Treasurer, one of my goals as a city official is to help promote transparency and accountability of the City's finances. Our citizens are entitled to have an accurate understanding of our city's tax burden and expenditures, rather than just a quick snapshot."