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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Take their kidneys too...

Re: "Virginia Beach faces record $81.2 million budget shortfall" and "Proposal asks taxpayers to foot more of Town Center bill." Virginian-Pilot. November 19, 2008.

The City of Virginia Beach is forecasting an $81 million-plus deficit. What is the only plan on the table? Add $56.4 million to the tab in subsidies to the Aloft Hotel project in "Town Center." When you add it to the last phase's $28.5 million, you get a cost of $84.9 million. The benefit to the city? According to Virginia Beach's Finance Director, Patricia Philips, the city has reaped the huge reward of $5.2 million. ... Hold the phones. They put in $84 million and got back $5.2 million? That's a terrible rate of return. Now I understand that somewhere in the distant future it will be worth it, but right now, is it really worth it to cut back on city services and pay to build a hotel? All Town Center property taxes already stay in Town Center, to no benefit to the rest of the city. Where does that money go? Can't they use that? Either way, Virginia Beach needs to take a good look at what it spends money on. They have got to cut their spending.

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