Inspired by the city's decision to lease the old West Hampton school to help pay for the Washington NFL team's training camp, an ordinance that aims to make sure future sales of surplused school properties benefits the schools is slated to go before City Council on Monday evening.
Fifth District City Councilman Parker Agelasto introduced the ordinance, which would create a dedicated annual funding stream for schools. He explains it like this in an email:
Essentially, the proposal would capture the new real estate property taxes generated from surplus school property and provide it to RPS for their annual operating budget. Currently, selling surplus school property only benefits the capital reserve account for RPS for new construction and maintenance.
The City of Richmond is sitting on surplus school property assessed at $48 Million. If all of these buildings were sold and maintained their existing assessments, that would net $576,000 in annual tax revenue at the current rate of $1.20 per $100 of property assessment. While this is not much money, it ties the sale of school property to a recurring, long-term benefit, beyond the capital reserve fund.
The measure faces an uncertain fate. Agelasto says he expects support from some council members, but the measure moved out of the body's finance committee yesterday with no recommendation. The chair of that committee, Kathy Graziano, made it clear she was not in favor of the measure.