The county has sent the city $280 million to the City of Charlottesville since the agreement went into effect as the result of of a county referendum to prevent the city annexing county property in return for a share of Albemarle’s real estate tax revenue each year.
As Charlottesville and Albemarle County’s elected officials go through the annual exercise of tinkering with the proposed budgets for the respective localities, a small faction of Albemarle residents want county officials to take another look at the longstanding revenue-sharing deal between the city and county.
In a series of letters and interviews, an Albemarle County Republican Party official and a pair of government observers have taken aim at the 35-year-old agreement, arguing that it should be altered, phased out or terminated completely.
Despite their consternation, the deal, which is worth $15.8 million this year, is unlikely to be altered anytime soon.
Albemarle officials have said the county attorney is investigating one complaint that the agreement has been violated but will not say much more than that.
Regardless of whether there’s been a breach of the terms, those opposed to the agreement said the spirit of the deal is flawed because the city continues to draw funds from county residents who have no say in who is elected in the city.
During a Board of Supervisors meeting in February, Bill Schrader, of Crozet brought the issue to the board once more. County Attorney Greg Kamptner reminded the board that they had been advised on the issue in a closed session several months before, but no one at the meeting said what conclusion had been made.
In an interview a week after that meeting, Supervisor Rick Randolph dismissed Schrader’s concern, saying the board does not respond to every allegation presented to them.
“What we don’t do is indicative of a policy decision,” Randolph said. If there had been a major problem, he said, “I can assure you, the Board of Supervisors would have been responsive to that issue.”
Last year in an interview with CBS19, Randolph said he would be interested in renegotiating the terms of the revenue-sharing agreement as part of an ongoing discussion about whether the county will relocate its court facilities from the city to the county.
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