Hopewell’s legislative committee recently met with state officials to discuss matters that relate to the Virginia General Assembly.
State Sen. Rosalyn Dance and Dels. Lashrecse Aird and Riley Ingram were present at the meeting. Hopewell’s Legislative Committee is comprised of Director of Intergovernmental and Public Affairs Herbert Bragg, City Attorney Stefan Calos, Interim City Manager Charlie Dane, Vice-Mayor Jasmine Gore and Ward 3 Councilor Anthony Zevgolis.
Hopewell spoke to opposing any reduction or elimination of the Machinery and Tools (M&T) tax and the Business, Professional and Occupational License Tax. The current City Manager Charlie Dane said the M&T tax provides roughly 20 percent of the City’s annual budget, and cutting the tax would “decimate” Hopewell’s budget process. Hopewell’s history is one of the biggest tourism drivers -so the committee also stressed the importance of the cities Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.
The committee outlined a lot of their priorities for this meeting at their City Council meeting on November 21st.
- The City supports full funding for state aid to local police, continued funding for the Water Quality Improvement Fund, and the $50 million funding request of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in support of the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.
- Hopewell also endorses Virginia First Cities Coalition’s 2018 draft of its legislative agenda and the Virginia Municipal League’s 2017 legislative program.
- The City supports full funding of state mandates and opposes mandates that are not funded.
- The committee expressed City support for full funding of K-12 education, including funding for high poverty school districts. Furthermore, they support changes in state assessment and accountability for K-12 schools, such as: revisions to make SOL tests more relevant for success in today’s economy; flexibility for test administration; and an increase in the use of technology for SOL testing.