The Virginia Newsletter
Following Virginia Politics for over 50 years
Richard Salmon, an authority on public school finance and a longtime professor at Virginia Tech, provides a detailed account of the history and current status of financing Virginia's public school system. The system, a vast and complex arrangement, is the most significant cost to local governments and one of the largest costs to state government. Meeting K-12 education needs has become even m
In this edition of the Virginia News Letter, John Knapp analyzes the impact of the housing boom on real property tax assessments and tax bills in Virginia. He points out that while Virginia local governments have taken advantage of the housing boom to increase tax collections, they theoretically did not have to set rates that would yield large gains in revenue.
Any significant shift of freight and passenger traffic from highways back to railways will require a major shift in public transportation policy at all levels of government, according to former railroad executive, Richard L.
Knapp, a public finance expert with UVA's Cooper Center warns that Virginia's proposed "homestead" constitutional amendment, currently being considered in the General Assembly, will pose problems for local communities if it ultimately becomes part of the state constitution. The legislation would allow localities the option to exempt up to 20 percent of a home's value from real estate taxes.
If political leaders don't move quickly and set aside partisanship and power struggles, Virginia's highways and related quality of life will face "a catastrophe," a former state transportation commissioner warns. Ray D.