City's tax plan for tech
sector overlooks needs
The recent city of Richmond notice of general reassessment of real estate was a shocker, an increase at my house of 23.27%.
I know city governments must balance their budgets. My first thought was the tax increase means there will be more money for improving Richmond's schools or roads or public transit or public housing. Apparently that's not where all of the tax increase will go.
The Times-Dispatch reported that City Council is considering a tax-exemption scheme for technology businesses for up to five years starting in 2022. Property taxes go up substantially, and technology businesses won't have to pay local taxes. Some council members hope cutting taxes to support tech industry growth will help pay for public infrastructure and other priorities of the city. No guarantees, of course.
If City Council wants to encourage businesses to locate or expand in Richmond, it should consider a scheme of value for all businesses and citizens. I'm suggesting better education for a quality workforce, affordable housing and expanded public transit to commute to and from businesses in an efficient manner.
Again, no guarantees. But at the least, it will improve quality of life in the city.