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New Law May Impact Revenue Sharing Between Albemarle Co. and Charlottesville

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

The decades-old revenue sharing agreement between Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville could be impacted by a new law.

Governor Ralph Northam just signed House Bill 1148 into law. 25th District Delegate R. Steve Landes introduced the bill, which went through amendments by the time it reached the governor’s desk.

"Like all pieces of legislation this was a compromise," Landes said.

The legislation makes some changes to an agreement that dates back to 1982, which established Albemarle County pay Charlottesville in exchange for not annexing county lands.

"Some of it [the money from the county] goes into the general fund, some of it goes into our capital budget, that's all spelled out in the budget document," Charlottesville Spokesperson Brian Wheeler explained.

Under the new law, cities and counties with revenue-sharing agreements older than 10 years will be required to meet annually instead of every five years.

While the city manager and county executive discuss the revenue sharing agreement when creating their annual budgets, the law could require the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council to meet as well.

"Those meetings are already happening, but I think the bigger question is are we getting elected officials involved in having that discussion," said Wheeler.

The approved bill does not include Del. Landes' proposal to allow a locality to end the agreement with a majority vote.

"I would have liked to have seen a little bit more stronger language from the standpoint of really getting them to come back and say, ‘we're going to renegotiate or we're not going to move forward with the agreement’. With compromises you try to get what you can," said the delegate.

Landes says the bill doesn't accomplish everything he would have liked it to, but it's a new tool to require the city to sit down and discuss pros and cons of revenue sharing.

"What we want to concentrate on is this provides us the opportunity to meet with our counterparts in the city, talk about quality of life initiatives around perhaps sharing economic development," said supervisor Dinatha McKeel.

Elected leaders say this should increase transparency.

"There’s been a lack of public dialogue about the revenue sharing. I think there’s been a lot of frustration from the county residents regarding why we're doing it and a lack of understanding of how the money is spent,” McKeel said.

Supervisor Ann Mallek said she would have liked for the county to have the power to end the agreement with a majority vote.


04/05/2018 Release from the Office of Delegate R. Steven Landes:

Delegate R. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, was pleased to learn that Governor Ralph Northam has signed House Bill 1148, which will provide an opportunity for Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville to address their revenue sharing agreement.

This is the third bill, along with House Bills 775 and 776, sponsored by Del. Landes for the benefit of Albemarle County that has been signed into law.

“This is the second year I have worked to address the revenue sharing agreement between Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. As last year’s budget amendment language was too broad, I introduced House Bill 1148, this session,” said Landes. “I am pleased that Governor Northam has signed House Bill 1148 into law so we will be able to begin the dialogue on the inequity of the revenue sharing agreement between the City of Charlottesville and
Albemarle County.”

The following Albemarle County related bills sponsored by Delegate Landes have been signed into law and become effective July 1, 2018:

  • House Bill 775 Removal of snow and ice; county executive form of government. Authorizes any county outside Planning District 8 that has adopted the county executive form of government (Albemarle County), to provide by ordinance reasonable criteria and requirements for the removal of accumulations of snow and ice from public sidewalks by the owner or other person in charge of any occupied property. Currently, only counties within Northern Virginia Planning District 8 may adopt such an ordinance.
  • House Bill 776 Regulation of parking on secondary highways; Albemarle. Adds Albemarle County to the list of counties that may, by ordinance, regulate parking on secondary highways.

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  • House Bill 1148 Reporting on economic growth-sharing agreements. Provides that all economic growth-sharing agreements between localities shall require, at least annually, a report from each locality that is a recipient of funds pursuant to the agreement to each of the other governing bodies of the participating localities that includes the amount of money transferred among the localities pursuant to the agreement and the uses of such funds by the localities. The bill also provides that the parties to any growth-sharing agreement that has been in effect for at least 10 years and which has annual payments that exceed $5 million shall convene an annual meeting to discuss anticipated future plans for economic growth in the localities.

Landes represents the 25th House District, which includes parts of Albemarle, Augusta, and Rockingham counties. Landes is currently serving his twelfth term in the Virginia House of Delegates. Visit SteveLandes.com for additional information.

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