Flying High since 1998.

Bristol Virginia Residents Face Higher Taxes-Fees

by Lewis Loflin


Bristol Herald Courier June 28, 2015: Bristol Virginia residents will see their cost of living skyrocket by more than $350 compared to last year. The city has been on an orgy of corporate welfare and public giveaways to their friends and private businesses - now the bill is coming due.

For years residents were told these development projects would create jobs and boost tax revenues yet the only increases we see are seeing are the cost of services and property taxes.

Bristol Virginia Utilities that's presently seeing three of its executives going to prison and the former CEO Wes Rosenbaum slinking away in the night are claiming the average homeowner will be seeing an average increase in cost of $280.

In the past BVU has used public dollars to underwrite music concerts ($200,000) and given away $350,000 in free stuff to help underwrite the Cabela's (Falls) strip mall development and $10,000 to a music program.

Bristol Virginia a town of 17,800 has a per capita income of under $20,000 and a median household income of $32,000. Two-thirds of its children live at or below the poverty level and is home to 11 public housing projects.

The city is already $98 million in debt that will cost $5.3 million to service. That is a $360,000 increase over last year most of it driven by borrowing to underwrite private business development. Of that $98 million total $46 million has been borrowed since 2012 to underwrite The Falls strip mall development on Lee Highway.

If I'm not mistaken the Virginia Tobacco Commission misused $5 million as an outright cash gift to the project.

Another $1.5 million according to press reports was added for road improvements for the project. Those totals don't include $33.8 million in revenue debt connected to the project. After years of delays they hope Cabela's will finally open in Fall 2015.

The city is hoping for $3.17 million in new tax revenues from the project. The problem is an impending fight with Washington County Virginia. Part of the new jobs being created was moving the local Lowe's a mile down the road from Washington County to Bristol Virginia. It has been announced that Cabela's will only generate about 150 mostly part-time and seasonal jobs.

Tri-Cities Bristol Virginia Tennessee have the best government corruption your tax dollars can buy.