Navy Hill project
will bolster Richmond
I have been a resident of Richmond for a long time, and I love our corner of the world. I have seen a lot of projects come and go, and I have been involved in a few of them myself. I have been thinking about Navy Hill and what is best for the city and for our children. And, I have come down squarely in favor of it, for three reasons:
First, the alternative to the current plan is to do nothing, at least for now. Doing nothing is unacceptable. Because so much of the property in the city is occupied by state, federal, university and nonprofit organizations, we have an insufficient tax base to do all the things we need to do for our citizens. The Navy Hill project will bring significant new tax revenue to the city, which we desperately need to fuel a robust turnaround for our schools.
Second, the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) model that has been recommended is a broadly used, proven mechanism for activating important projects across the country. Richmond can revitalize a mostly empty part of our central city without upfront costs and with any future costs covered by a portion of the new tax revenue generated by the revitalization.
Third, the community leaders behind this plan — Bill Goodwin, Tom Farrell, C.T. Hill, Melody Barnes, Marty Barrington, Pam Royal and Monroe Harris — won’t let it fail because they want their city to thrive.
There are a million details in the plan, which is available for anyone to read and evaluate and recommend adjustments. But, from the big picture perspective, we need to do this thing. It will strengthen Richmond, it is a proven model with little risk, and it is backed by good people with good intentions.