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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 12):

The concept of revenue effort focuses on the degree to which county and city governments actually harness the revenue-generating potential of their respective jurisdictions through the employment of locally controlled devices for resource mobilization (e.g., taxes, service charges, and regulatory license fees.  With respect to a particular locality, the effort dimension operationally assumes the form of an extraction/capacity ratio, a statistical mechanism in which the sum of jurisdictional revenues across all "own source" funding categories is divided by the aggregate fiscal ability of the given county or city.  Through this indicator the receipts which the target locality derives from its various private-sector resource bases are gauged in relation to the yield that the jurisdiction could anticipate if local revenue-raising simply reflected the average rates of return for the Commonwealth at large.

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

We have the data for 2013-14.  Richmond is nineteenth from the highest of the 133 localities at 1.336.  That is, Richmond is working its citizens for revenue 33.6% harder than the Virginia average.

The graph here shows revenue effort, with the localities ranked high to low; Richmond is the gold bar; the red bars (from the left) are Hampton, Newport News, and Norfolk:

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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Last updated 12/03/16
Please send questions or comments to John Butcher