Massive Debt Leaves Bristol Virginia Near Panic

by Lewis Loflin


Related: Bristol Virginia Residents Nailed for Higher Taxes and Fees 2015 and Teaching Positions Eliminated While Raising Taxes.

How the Fall's development is affecting Bristol Virginia's debt problems screams one headline. Local press reports once again are raising the alarm of increasing problems with Bristol Virginia's debt. Much of this debt was incurred underwriting a Cabela's shopping mall.

"More than $70 million will be payable within the next 10 years, including the entire $47 million are owed for the Falls. Combined general fund, solid waste, and school debt payments are to exceed $86 million between fiscal 2019-20 and fiscal 2024-25 in fees, interest, and related cost according to the city's new budget document."

Bristol Virginia politicians are in a near panic saying they need to refinance this massive debt over a longer period like 30 years. The closing of the Bristol Mall and stiff competition from the Pinnacle development in Bristol Tennessee is bleeding city tax coffers. Compound this with jobs reductions at two local manufacturing plants. Their latest budget calls for tax increases and cuts to services. One report has the Bristol Virginia Fire Department threatening to go on strike due to budget cuts.

This is the same city that gave away $25,000 as an incentive to an ice cream shop to locate downtown. That is typical of the culture of corruption and corporate welfare that befuddles our community.

Compounding problems for Bristol is a $300,000 payment to Washington County Virginia to compensate for luring Lowe's Home Improvement to move 1.5 miles down the road to The Falls. Bristol Virginia proclaims this as new jobs. Sure, right. Reference: Bristol Herald Courier May 17, 2016.