Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Albemarle County: Building Permits, Taxes

The Daily Progress reports that building permits are down in Albemarle County. No surprise.

But this is good news. The necessity for new unsold houses is pretty much zero when there are already-built, never-lived in houses that are unsold, as well as the gigantic inventory of existing houses.

The bad news is that, partially due to real estate values plummeting, Albemarle County is facing a budget shortfall, and taxes may (will) go up.


Anonymous said...

Does the following look like the County Board of Sups believes that funding the "preservation" of large farms via the ACE program is a higher priority than basic transportation needs? Sorry, I think government should be more aligned with looking out for the larger public good (road safety) before preserving a tract of land composed of part farmland and part forest with a handful of development rights - if the landowner chose to use them.
from the article:
"staff have now come back with a five-year forecast that does not include any County funding for transportation projects. The formula that calculates the County’s funding for the Acquisitions of Conservation Easements (ACE) program has also been altered so the County will only contribute about $600,000."

Is it feasable that for now, we would spend our prop taxes on limited items like schools, roads, libraries, rather that cutting breaks to large land owners? Please,recognize ACE for what it is - a reduction of future development potential based on a no-growth policy, and reducing property taxes for already fairly wealthy folks.
Looks like tax dollars (from everyone) are being used to help keep well-to-do people from selling or developing their development rights (in exchange for tax breaks)in order to "protect" us from seeing houses on hills/farms as we drive down the road.
In times of (inflated) budget limitations, perhaps schools and roads should take priority over the outlay of funds for stopping possible furure development.
Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

"No growth" is good, but taxes are taxes and the current farmette system of taxation really should be revisited.

If a farm was really a farm, then "preservation" would be a great idea as we move to "food sovereignty," which is growing our own in the US (and supporting this elsewhere) rather than making food an international commodity (melamine-tainted Chinese milk, anybody? Some Mexico-grown E coli or Salmonella Saintpaul with your peppers, anybody?)

BUT MANY farms, as we all know, in Albemarle county are NOT going concerns: they're farmettes or hobby farms or pastures for a couple champion horses or breeder cattle... or have some acreage leased out to a poor "real" farmer specifically for the tax break.

The County shouldn't even be contributing $600K, imho. Those with land and/or wealth should handle their own tax burdens.

Come on, now.

The Bush admin gave us "No Child Left Behind" so the coming, ruling generation has quite a few dolts headed our way. Now is NOT the time to cut school funding.

Just this a.m., NPR had a story on how much usage at local libraries has risen, because folks aren't spending. Now is not the time--nor is it the time a few years from now--to cut library $.

No growth is good...but a tax break is ridiculous.