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Albemarle Supervisors Abruptly Strike Controversial Agenda Item

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

An agenda strike of the controversial revenue agreement between Albemarle County and Charlottesville is making headlines.

Supervisors were supposed to discuss a bill in the General Assembly that could bring about a change to that agreement put in place decades ago. It was one of the last items listed on the agenda on Wednesday, February 7.

But out of nowhere, Albemarle supervisors decided to table the talks, as they were confused about why they were talking about the revenue agreement in the first place. Supervisors are in charge of their own agenda, so they’re free to make changes like this one last minute.

This revenue-sharing agreement dates back to 1982. Under it, Albemarle County pays 10 cents on the real estate tax to Charlottesville in exchange for not annexing county lands. However, back in 1987, legislation was introduced that would require a referendum before Charlottesville could proceed with annexation.

House Bill 1148 would allow localities like the county or city to call for review of this agreement once every five years. It could also allow a locality to end the agreement with a majority vote, or subject agreements longer than 10 years to renegotiations.

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Ann Mallek says she does not want to discuss it until the board can get more details from the bill's author, Delegate Steve Landes.

"We did not have any discussion this evening about Delegate Landes' bill, and I think for some reason the chair ended up putting it on the agenda, but it’s not a bill that was discussed in any fashion - closed session or open session - I can tell you absolutely, no discussion about it whatsoever,” says Rick Randolph, an Albemarle County supervisor.

The county is attempting to lob the entire court relocation debate into the sticky revenue-sharing agreement. Last month, a release from the county indicated court talks and the agreement go hand-in-hand.

Therefore, it’s still a mystery as to why there was an abrupt stop to the revenue-sharing agreement discussion.

Mallek says she has not gotten an update to the proposed legislation since December. Currently, the bill is listed as active and in the hands of the House appropriations committee.

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