We all benefit from land use

Supervisors who have questions so they can have a better understanding of the land use program need to think not just about the short-term but long-term impacts. There is a vicious cycle I have seen in other counties which bears noting. This is the cycle of developing, spending, increasing government, then raising taxes. You start out with lovely, unspoiled rural areas without crowded roads, sub-developments, lower taxes and small, efficient government till gradually you find yourself with the opposite. Before you know it you see new subdivisions cropping up, office buildings, big box stores with large parking lots and lots of traffic! Much of this comes from local politicians who can’t stop spending, want development, and need to find creative ways to get more money.
Does government have a real need to carefully budget and expand services where needed? Yes. Should we have slow, targeted growth where appropriate? Maybe. Am I anti-government? No, but when our county already has the highest real estate tax rate in the area and now has increased it again this year you have to wonder. As if that isn’t enough, some supervisors are apparently looking for newer, creative ways to obtain even more revenue through the questioning of “land use” credit. That eventually could mean property owners like me selling off portions of our land for development. I agree with Don Weaver, who has noted, “Fluvanna doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.” The land use category allows small rural owners, not just the larger ones, to afford to keep it that way.

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