The Cranky Taxpayer

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Taxes | Revenue Effort

The Commission on Local Government publishes a ranking of localities by "revenue effort."

As defined by the Commission (pdf at 17):

A locality’s revenue effort is computed as its own-source revenue collections divided by its revenue capacity. The components of own-source revenue used by the Commission on Local Government for this computation are real estate taxes, public service corporation real estate taxes, personal property taxes, local option sales taxes, and other local source revenue. Data used for this exercise was taken from the Comparative Report of Local Government Revenue and Expenditures for FY 2017 published by the Auditor of Public Accounts. A locality that is collecting revenue at its computed capacity would receive a score of 100.

In turn (pdf at 11), "Revenue capacity per capita measures how much tax revenue a locality could collect per person from its base if it used statewide average rates."

In short, "revenue effort" measures how hard the locality is working its citizens for revenue, relative to the state average.

We have the data for 2018.  Richmond is 14th from the highest of the 133 localities at 1.4059.  Richmond is working its citizens for revenue 406% harder than the Virginia average.

The Biggest Taxers all are cities: The City average is 1.3003 while the county average is 0.8815.

The graph here shows revenue effort, with the localities ranked low to high; Richmond is the gold bar; the red bars (from the left) are Norfolk, Newport News, and Hampton. The blue bar is Smyth County, 0.9279, which is right at the average by locality.

Follow this link for a breakdown of where the taxes come from and where they go. 

Unfortunately, the payback for the high taxes we pay is high crime and lousy schools and a public housing agency that harbors crime

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High Taxes | High Crime | Lousy Schools | Obdurate Bureaucrats

Last updated 06/05/21
Please send questions or comments to John Butcher