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Meeting between Albemarle, Charlottesville Leaders Gets Heated over Revenue Sharing

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The jurisdictions share things like information and money The jurisdictions share things like information and money
Albemarle County Supervisor Ned Gallaway Albemarle County Supervisor Ned Gallaway
Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Tempers flared at the joint summit between Charlottesville and Albemarle County as leaders discussed money the two entities share.

The jurisdictions also share information and priorities, but it’s the issue of funds that raised tensions at the meeting.

Albemarle County contributed $15 million to the city of Charlottesville in the 2018 fiscal year.

During the annual joint meeting on Thursday, October 4, the city and county tried to get some clarity about how to keep track of that money and who benefits from it.

“And my question was, ‘well, that's great, those are city services, provided at our cost to city residents, and that’s just the reality of it,’’ said Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek.

The meeting got heated as Charlottesville representatives presented their operating costs for regional services.

County supervisors want to know where exactly $15 million the county contributed to the city of Charlottesville went.

“What county residents do have an interest in is where do my tax dollars go? How were they spent?' And when a piece of it goes over to another jurisdiction, it’s just a matter of understanding, ‘OK, what did it go to?’ and I think that’s a reasonable request,” Ned Gallaway, an Albemarle County supervisor, said.

That money is part of a revenue-sharing agreement that dates back to 1982, when Charlottesville agreed not to annex county land.

Nikuyah Walker, the mayor of Charlottesville, says more meetings will be needed to clarify what both groups expect out of this revenue-sharing agreement, including talks about annexation.

“I think from what I’m seeing, I don’t think you can talk about one factor without talking about the other,” Walker said. “And it was clear that the county believes that we can talk about the revenue sharing without talking about annexation and that doesn’t. Today, I’m still confused about why that has been allowed in the past.”

Virginia law now requires the localities meet and discuss the agreement at least once annually.

“So even saying that we’re going to have another meeting just to follow up on this conversation is a big step forward,” Gallaway said.

Representatives from both groups expressed hope that another joint revenue meeting could take place sometime early next year.