Census Corrected: Population Shifts to County

The U.S. Census Bureau has agreed to adjust their population data for Charlottesville and Albemarle County after providing contested 2001 results. The census indicated that Charlottesville had a population of 45,000 and Albemarle a population of 79,000, figures that both the city and the county knew were inaccurate. The calculations were inaccurate due to a miscalculation in the neighborhoods around UVa, where the borders were unclear. 5,000 people are now included in the county population that had previously been included in the city, giving a revised city population of 40,000 and a county population of 84,000. Amanda Greene has the story in the current Observer.

16 thoughts on “Census Corrected: Population Shifts to County”

  1. If the average increase in real estate taxes in Albemarle county is $200 per property and there are maybe 4 persons per household, and assuming that the majority of households live in detached dwellings, that makes over 3 million dollars increase in tax revenues for next this year alone! Not bad, eh!?

    Now what are they going to do with that money? I bet (because I’m a cynical kind of guy) that most of it doesn’t end up in additional or improved services! What do you think?

  2. Assuming that your math is right and it is an increase of revenues of around $3M, that would be be not all that much more than the defict that had been projected. So you’re right. Don’t expect any improved County services as a result of this.

    Personally, I would rather see new revenues coming in through car taxes instead of property taxes. I think that quality of life suffers more of a negative impact from increased housing costs than it does from increased transportation costs. It’s much easier to reduce your spending on transport than on housing (cars are a lot more disposable than houses anyway).

  3. Agreed.

    As usual, however, I have comments.

    1. Gilmore successfully eliminated a perfectly adequate means of taxation because it was unpopular. Goes to show what the population, particularly Virginia’s I might add, stands for. Although the way the state collected this tax was indeed insidious, via its additional “property tax” mailer, where many citizens are caught off-guard, was indeed inappropriate. What should have been done, rather, was a simple adjustment in the notification of taxes. For instance, the Monroney sticker should have the 1st year’s projected value assessment and resulting tax printed clearly on it. As big or bigger than the vehicle’s MPG estimates.

    2. The best way I know to fairly collect tax is via consumption taxes. Income taxes on low-income Americans are way too high! Lowering the paycheck tax and increasing substantially sales taxes works out nicely because those whose 2nd house is at the shopping mall and those who can afford those deluxe golf clubs will ‘participate’ more fully in servicing public spending. Don’t get me going on the biggest handout to the wealthy: mortgage subsidies. The reason, again, why this may never come about anywhere in the U.S. (other than maybe Wisconsin or other Canadian-border states) is that would kill the love-affair Americans have with Consumerism.

  4. Shifting over to an entirely consumption-based tax system is tempting. But I think that it would result in low income Americans paying higher taxes than they currently do.

    People who live in serious poverty in this country don’t pay income tax. In fact, most Americans don’t have to pay income tax. With an income based tax, it’s easy to carve out a group of people like that and reduce their taxes. But high sales taxes could not effectively discriminate between the rich and the poor. Even the poor still have to buy things. Granted, they buy fewer things, but the impact of a 20% (number out of thin air) hike in the cost of goods would have a major impact on their lives. I suppose that you could issue some kind of national tax-tier identification card that would allow the poor to have the tax waived at the register.

    Frankly I find that whole idea of needing your ‘papers’ to buy anything very scary and unpleasant.

    I suppose that you could also try to carve out specific types of goods that are going to be taxed at varying rates according to how essential they are. But I’m imagining the political storm that would erupt over how to classify every type of product that is sold in the U.S. and in the end I doubt we’d have a national tax code that is any simpler or fairer than what we have right now.

    If I was going to point to any one product and say that it needs a heftier Federal tax, it would be oil. Consider the cost of miltary action and ongoing presence of troops in the Persian Gulf over the last 12 years, plus foreign aid, etc. etc. I’m sick of paying for the guarantees of this product’s price and supply out of my income tax.

  5. Jack, upon reading some of your comments, you initially appear to be a reasonable and thoughtful guy. But whenever we get into the nitty-gritty, your information sources and conclusions thereof are just plain wrong [IMO]. This leads me to sometimes question your motives. But before I continue, please realize, as all others reading these, that I am not out to get you personally and I am not a violent man as some have tried to inculcate onto my online persona. My ultimate goal is to make people stop and think about where our “New World” is heading, instead of gregariously believing that “smart people” have and are continuously “figuring it out” for the rest of us. The truth is smart people are continuously figuring it out how best to serve themselves. Ethics and life worthiness are no longer a top priority with virtually all constituent groups in the U.S. today (yes, that includes religious groups also).

    “Shifting over to an entirely consumption-based tax system is tempting. But I think that it would result in low income Americans paying higher taxes than they currently do”

    First, those conclusions are not possible, as we do not have a point of reference (no consumption tax rates, no income tax adjusted rates, etc.) Please do not include quotes or links as a retort, because every reasonable person today knows that numbers and analyses are almost always biased. For example, the Tobacco lobby successfully promoted “scientific analyses” that “proved” nicotine is not addictive. Bottom line: in today’s world, good sense and an intelligent but caring heart are more important than statistics.

    “People who live in serious poverty in this country don’t pay income tax. In fact, most Americans don’t have to pay income tax.”

    “Serious poverty”? This qualification alone makes me gag. What is defined as serious poverty? Did you see 60 minutes last night (I rarely watch TV shows, but this just happened. Millions of Americans in Ohio alone (!!!) go to food banks and such. As appropriately portrayed, many of these people waiting in line are average Americans that have either lost their jobs or only one parent working for a measly $7 an hour makes sense, since childcare and such would be more expensive than a second parent’s job, NOTABLY because they would end up paying more income taxes with dual-declared incomes. I’ve got to tell you, images of these hard-working American families begging for food are nauseating. Especially when the folks that laid them off are often getting increases alone that could feed a 100 families. The kids bring back half of their school lunches so that they have something to eat at night.

    You like stats? Well here’s one from a conservative economic review (McGraw Hill, Business Week): in 1970, the average CEO income was 40 times that of the average worker. Now, even after Enron and Worldcom, the average is 600 to 1. I don’t know how to shout this loud enough: 600 workers equals 1 CEO. Can you imagine? No doubt the Board of Directors all over our country have used pie charts, cash flow analyses, linear regression curves to prove they are worth every penny they get.

    I know people that earn $7 an hour and I’ve seen their pay stubs. I’ve also seen their tax returns: they are taxed all right. Heaven forbid they get health insurance or something else: there’s not much left.

    “But high sales taxes could not effectively discriminate between the rich and the poor. Even the poor still have to buy things.”

    We already have a tiered tax system, where certain goods are taxed (or not taxed at all). We need only to amend them: staple foods (milk, bread, eggs…) should not be taxed at all (like pharma is not taxed). There’s no need to scare the public as you do by saying:

    “Frankly I find that whole idea of needing your ‘papers’ to buy anything very scary and unpleasant”.

    I find that disingenuous, as you know very well that will scare freedom-loving Americans. And as I’ve stated above, that is not at all necessary. The medical, drug and insurance lobbies (arguably the 3 most powerful, no less) easily defeated Ms. Clinton’s attempt at Universal Health Care reform by using that very scare tactic. They threatened by waving around some concoction that Americans would no longer be able to choose their doctors and such. Universal Health Care, excuse me, rather gives that very capability to all Americans. Unless they’re part of some expensive private clinic, a citizen would be entitled to use the services of *any* medical doctor and still expect to be reimbursed according to federal guidelines.

    Then, you return to a more reasonable defense:

    “I suppose that you could also try to carve out specific types of goods that are going to be taxed at varying rates according to how essential they are. But I’m imagining the political storm that would erupt over how to classify every type of product that is sold in the U.S. and in the end I doubt we’d have a national tax code that is any simpler or fairer than what we have right now.”

    Why are you so scared of a “political storm”? We NEED major political storms all over the socio-economic landscapes. Time has come to reform most aspects of our system. Those who have honestly studied Thomas Jefferson know he promoted ongoing reevaluations of even his own precious Constitution. Unfortunately, America is dominated by anachronistic dogmas employed by the powerful to control the population. Patriotism has become a major tool to reduce the common man to obedience.

    “If I was going to point to any one product and say that it needs a heftier Federal tax, it would be oil. Consider the cost of miltary action and ongoing presence of troops in the Persian Gulf over the last 12 years, plus foreign aid, etc. etc. I’m sick of paying for the guarantees of this product’s price and supply out of my income tax”

    Very good! Now apply that reasoned common-sense evaluation to the other aspects of governing bodies. Do you know that common-rail turbo diesel technology could lower our consumption by over 30% without sacrificing America’s love affair with trucks? All it would require are federal mandated guidelines of phasing in low-sulfur distillate fuel, common all over Europe at this time. Enable tax incentives for both consumers and manufacturers and bang, we’re going in the right direction. Take a guess at why this is not happening?

    To me, the American public is a Sleeping Giant, unaware of the real dangers ahead. Complacence has replaced true Patriotism. I fear the Giant may get pummeled while snoring…

  6. Bottom line: in today’s world, good sense and an intelligent but caring heart are more important than statistics.

    Bottom line: in today’s world good sense and hard facts are more important than any emotional argument.

    There, fixed!

  7. Your world must be wonderful, having so much certainty! I sincerely hope the day you learn that what you just said lacks wisdom, it will not be in an imploding building 100 stories high looking over Wall-Street.

  8. Please do not include quotes or links as a retort, because every reasonable person today knows that numbers and analyses are almost always biased.

    I really don’t know what to add to this that wouldn’t be gilding the lilly. Those darn quotes, links, or statistics just get in the way of a good, reasonable (read: agrees with you) argument. And of course, you’re not biased at all. :)

    And I’m sure you don’t even see the irony.

  9. The existence of reality is described by means of density probability function for energy. Simply put, statistics.

    And I have to agree with the raving lunatic on one point. "every reasonable person today knows that numbers and analyses are almost always biased"

    Tell me about it! The number 4 is SOOOO biased towards the idle rich! And dont even get me started on 5.2172! It makes me sooo angry!

  10. "And I’m sure you don’t even see the irony."

    Well, what I *did* anticipate is your kind of mockery. My intention is not to waste our time sending back quotes and links and stats from external sources, because our discussion would invariably be bogged down to a point where everyone just says "Bye bye. I think I’m smarter and more informed than you.", but nothing has been resolved.

    I guess in a way, you exemplify (to me) the very reason why the giant continues to sleep. Instead of a good dose of common sense, you prefer to refer incessantly to external sources. I wonder what *you* see when you witness unfair and inhumane situations? There’s a newfangled term out there: "civilopath". Go ahead, run your Google search engine with abandon!

    P.S. Which "hard fact" quotes would you like to drown us in today? "The planet Earth is flat"? Or maybe "women have no soul"? Or again, "blacks have lesser intellectual capabilities"? Every epoque has its very own "hard facts". Which are yours?

  11. Koo-koo, koo-koo!

    (making a circular gesture with my finger beside my temple)

    Right; when in doubt, suggest that the person trouncing you is racist, sexist, ignorant or in this case all 3. You are really pulling out an arguement of desperation that demonstrates, once again, that you are barely fit to walk the streets without the snug protection of a straight jacket.

    Plus your summary rejection of the use of facts and information in decision making. A fairly classic symptom of schizophrenia.

    I’ll keep waiting for your ‘sleeping giant’ to wake up and defenestrate the evil middle class in a global wave of red flag demonstrations. I’m sure they’ll make you their king as they head, torches and pitchforks in hand, to the nearest library or similar repository of bourgousie hard facts.

    Stop skipping your pills before you go online.

  12. What’s for dinner?

    (extending my hand spread vertically 1 inch from your face, talking to someone else)

  13. For those of you reading this forum that still have an open mind but are wondering what’s what, ask yourselves this: why do some, like ‘Guest’, get so aggressive with me? Why does he/she come in, guns blazing, name-calling and belligerent as can be? I hadn’t even had a single word with him/her. I insulted no one in particular: I was simply identifying macro-trends that I find very troubling. The closest I came to anything addressed towards an individual in particular was when I said I was wondering about ‘Jack’s’ “motives”, since he otherwise exhibits often “thoughtfulness”.

    In all of history, whenever someone reasons against the status quo that is prevalent at the time, there is inquisitiveness, curiosity, tolerance and potential acceptance – or – there is rejection, anger, intolerance and animosity. A civilization in its prime demonstrates more of the former, a culture in decadence the latter.

    I am simply questioning the modern American dogma that capitalism requires the repeated dejection of millions of its citizens in order to adhere to an outdated model of so-called ‘capitalism’. I call upon people’s inner spirit (common sense and good heart) to decipher the continuous onslaught of contradictory messages thrown at them. My example at hand: millions of destitute people in Ohio so powerless, they must spend hours in lines at a food bank for their very survival. This happens daily, whilst there are other compatriots that earn so much, they think of themselves as Royalty. This is troubling in and of itself, but when you look at the ultimate capabilities these super-privileged folks possess, and especially the real value they bring to the economy, it truly strikes a thinking person as obscene.

    So then, why do I deny links, stats and the like? Well, use your own kanoodle! Don’t you think they’ll be a plethora of “fact and figures” to support the status quo? And even should I be able to keep up by throwing back the same kind of junk-stats to my detractors (who outnumber me, of course), I would invariably be swamped (and so would you) to such an extent, the initial and primary message I had gets lost.

    As an example of this: witness Microsoft’s very successful campaign at protecting its [monopolistic] business practices against the “rest” of the industry. Although a free-thinking judge (U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson) had clearly found against Microsoft (Nov 5, 1999), that supremely powerful corporation managed to bypass him and subsequently fought off dozens of state Attorneys General thereafter and finally prevaid in November 2002. Microsoft’s primary tactic was to both outspend and outclass the other parties by calling upon the complex inner-workings of modern computer science. In the end, the anti-trust busters’ (DOJ) complaint was diluted and the presiding judge (U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly) lost herself in the intricacies. Just last Tuesday, Microsoft and the Bush administration asked a federal judge to bar two computer-industry trade groups from appealing the settlement of the 4-1/2-year-old antitrust battle. Note: Microsoft *and* the Bush administration, together, "in bed".

    As you probably know, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 was precisely devised to combat over-powerfully controlling monopolists that adversely affect the nation. Carnegie Steel, Standard Oil and AT&T were broken up using this very legal tool. Yet today, Microsoft, an undisputable monopolist (for anyone with an open mind and some understanding of the software industry) in a key sector, manages to sidestep our own emergency laws by presenting an avalanche of stats and factoids.

    What I’m trying to get at here, is that the complexity of what I am saying can easily be drowned in opposing stats and such. This is why I am calling upon “common sense” and “good hearts” to sift through the cacophony to U.N.D.E.R.S.T.A.N.D. what is really happening in today’s world.

  14. I am simply questioning the modern American dogma that capitalism requires the repeated dejection of millions of its citizens in order to adhere to an outdated model of so-called ‘capitalism’. I call upon people’s inner spirit (common sense and good heart) to decipher the continuous onslaught of contradictory messages thrown at them. My example at hand: millions of destitute people in Ohio so powerless, they must spend hours in lines at a food bank for their very survival. This happens daily, whilst there are other compatriots that earn so much, they think of themselves as Royalty. This is troubling in and of itself, but when you look at the ultimate capabilities these super-privileged folks possess, and especially the real value they bring to the economy, it truly strikes a thinking person as obscene.

    You and I have had some pretty vocal and public disagreements. But believe it or not, I can understand where you’re coming from with the above paragraph.

    However (and you knew there’d be a however, didn’t ya?), looking at facts and figures tells me that that impression, as easy as it may be to come by, is wrong. And here’s why:

    Capitalism, as a system, has brought on more innovation than any other system in the world. Period. Bar none. It has improved the human condition so far above and beyond anything we’ve ever known, that it really is unbelievable. And that’s the gulf that you find yourself unable to bridge.

    You mention the poor and destitute in Ohio. I absolutely agree with you that there exists a serious problem there. And here’s that word again, However, consider that for the very first time in the history of the world, we have whole organizations dedicated to nothing but making sure that the destitute and poor have food in their stomachs and clothes on their backs. And frequently, a pillow to lay their head on and a visit with a doctor.

    Prior to this day and age, the hungry actually starved to death in the streets and alleys. Having no money, no way to get work, and no roof over your head was often times a death sentence. Getting sick was a crap-shoot. If you weren’t strong enough to survive whatever bug bit you, then you died. The poor had no hope of getting any kind of medical care, and even the rich had poor chances.

    What changed all of this? Well, we did. This system, right here, along with others like it.

    So far, no one, and I mean no one has been able to find a better system. The ideals presented in Socialism and Communism are some of the noblest proposed… their only problem is that they don’t work in a real-world situation. At least, they don’t as well, or for as long, as this one has.

    Having said all of that, I will say that this system is not perfect. On that, you and I can agree. However, if you call for us to toss this one out only to replace it with one (or principles of one) that has been proven not to work, then we’ll have to disagree.

    On the other issue in your post, tossing facts in favor of “common sense” and “good hearts” (which I read as “good intentions”) is a sure and swift road to Hell. Again, this is historically proven (bread and circuses comes readily to mind). You are correct that an overabundance of information can prohibit understanding. But a total lack of information ensures a lack of understanding.

  15. 1. I believe in capitalism. Who said I don’t? Free enterprise has indeed brought forth AMAZING advances.

    2. History has NOT finished with us yet. Your stance is actually the popular stance in today’s America. But you know what? It is fast becoming obsolete.

    At the Zenith of every culture, there’s utter complacence and self-congratulatory pats on the back. So-called leaders extol their superiority to all. What I am saying, Lafe, is that all the great things America has brought to itself is in very grave danger. Things are getting so imbalanced, so out of sync with reality (and the rest of the world, which is either catching up or has passed us by in some cases), that unless the ‘sleeping giant’ wakes up now, it may be too late.

    America is sleeping on its laurels… and its sheer size. During the entire 20th century, the U.S. was the largest economy based on a capitalist system. That is still true today. But things are changing. Europe just showed support for welcoming another 10 high-growth economies into the Euro Zone. The gross product of the combined “commonwealth” (remember why we coined that term?) will be roughly equal to that of the U.S. And it won’t stop there. It would be exhausting to have to detail the intricacies of why this is more of a problem than a boon to us, but just one: who do you think the world will want to deal with? The U.S. that is so resented in so many parts of the world – thanks again Dubya! – the E.U. is bound to reap the benefits. China is, believe it or not, running a weird kind of capitalist deal there: be afraid, be very afraid.

    Anyway, the signs are abundant, yet people want to bury their heads in the sand. And YES, folks, I was saying this during the booming 90’s! That decade, I believe btw, was America’s last hoorah.

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