Concern about the need to change the current property tax exemptions for Seniors & Disabled in Virginia Beach

From Empsy:

City Council,
I am concerned about the need to change the current property tax exemptions for Seniors and Disabled in Virginia Beach due to the program being unsustainable due to COST. I found the THREE modifications posted on Virtual Town Hall equally unacceptable as did all THREE of the other comments I was able to view on the site.
I received one call from my Cape Story by the Sea email send from a senior citizen who was very upset about the proposal and the impact it would have on her fixed income and unable to understand HOW Va Beach could not do better money management to sustain the program.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the City Council, I too have difficulty in believing the program can not be sustained. Please consider the following:
1. DO NOT compare Virginia Beach with the other 6 cities of tidewater because NONE off the other six cities have an OCEAN and the tourist traffic of Va Beach. Recent article indicated “Virginia Beach dining, lodging sales near (a RECORD) $1.4 BILLION” and Jim Ricketts expects 2015 to hit another record. Surely there is income here that could support the property tax exemptions and the NEED to INCREASE the tax rate for the rest of us.

2. The health care costs to the city employees was noted as being one the fastest increasing costs of the city in a recent Budget presentation by Councilman Wood at the SDCC meeting.
Consider a City owned and operated PBM- Pharmacy Benefits Management – company as CHESAPEAKE has done and saved considerable money. As a fellow pharmacist with Ed Davidson (the Consultant Pharmacist for the City of Virginia Beach), I would encourage the Council to discuss this opportunity with Dr. Davidson and your healthcare management departments. This should stabilize and possibly decrease expense to the City for employee healthcare.

3. The military in Virginia Beach brings in $13 Million (or is it Billion) that is currently used in budget planning I believe even with constant discussion that this may /will decrease if/when the military cuts back/moves out. BUT, the HIGH MILITARY income is STILL HERE AND STRONG in the 37 YEARS I have lived in Virginia Beach.

I believe the Great City of Virginia Beach can sustain the current property tax exemptions and the current tax rate on property. I believe the City of Virginia Beach is unique and comparison with the other six cities of Tidewater has very LIMITED benefits when comparing tax base, tax income and potential for tax income.

Thank you.

Empsy Munden – Cape Story by the Sea – Virginia Beach

Learn more by viewing Virtual Town Hall info below

PLEASE NOTE:
Both Virtual Town Halls posted below have been closed.
Please provide your feedback in Comments below and/or Email City Council here.

View first Official Virtual Town Hall VBGOV.com website on this Topic entitled:

    The City of Virginia Beach currently offers qualified property owners the ability to receive one of 3 forms of relief (Exemption, Deferral or Freeze), towards their real estate tax bill. To ensure City Council receives the best possible recommendations, please complete this survey.

You can view 122 Responses by the public, video presentation by Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Taskforce, Demographics of respondents, final tally, and more.

Next steps lie with City Council as they consider the information and the recommendations of the Taskforce.

View 2nd Official Virtual Town Hall VBGOV.com website on this Topic entitled:

    The City Council is considering three alternatives to changing the tax-relief program for senior citizens and the elderly. Which alternative do you prefer, and why?

You can view 44 Responses by the public, and more.
NOTE: City Council will be voting on proposed alternatives at their March 3 2015 Meeting.

Introduction

A tax-relief program that reduces or eliminates real estate taxes for some Virginia Beach senior citizens is not financially sustainable. That’s the conclusion of a city task force that reported recently to the City Council.

Now, the City Council is exploring ways to change the program – to continue keeping low-income seniors in their homes while managing the program’s skyrocketing costs.

The City Council has come up with three options, which are summarized here. The council wants to hear from you. A public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. However, the hearing was cancelled due to inclement weather and has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 24 in the City Council chamber in City Hall, second floor, 2401 Courthouse Drive​. City Council is still scheduled to vote on program changes March 3. For more information, contact the city’s Budget Office at (757) 385-8234 or budget@VBgov.com.

Virginia Beach has the most generous tax-relief program for seniors in Hampton Roads.

View Final Report by Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled Taskforce here. ( 102 page PDF )

TaxReliefConclusion

PLEASE NOTE:
Both Virtual Town Halls posted above have been closed.
Please provide your feedback in Comments below and/or Email City Council here.

Discuss

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