NAPS Urges Virginians to Vote “No” on Ballot Question #1

Dear Virginia voter,

The Nov. 6 Virginia election ballot contains two statewide ballot initiatives. Question #1 asks: “Should a county, city, or town be authorized to provide a partial tax exemption for real property that is subject to recurrent flooding, if flooding resiliency improvements have been made on the property?”

The Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship ( board of directors is urging Virginians to vote “no” on this question because it could create incentives that are unwise, unfair to citizens, and detrimental to the environment.

Firstly, it is fundamentally unwise for any incentives to be given for building or rebuilding on land with recurrent flooding, especially in a tidal region where relative sea levels are expected to continue rising*, It would be much wiser to expand incentives not to build or rebuild on this land, such as currently provided in Article X, Section 6 (a)(7) of the Constitution of Virginia: “Land subject to a perpetual easement permitting inundation by water as may be exempted (from taxation) in whole or in part by general law.”

Secondly, an ordinance that offers tax relief for the installation of riprap, bulkheads or other types of hardened shorelines would be unfair to owners of neighboring properties, particularly those who cannot afford to install their own flooding resiliency improvements. Not only will th