Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Arlington Board to take up commercial taxes Nov 27; Mass and Internet gambling

Is all politics local? No, not really, to a global person. But today it was, at least for me.

Commercial property taxes in Virginia

Tonight, I went to the Arlington County Board meeting, believing that there would be public comments on the proposed commercial property tax increase previously discussed in these blogs. That item will not be taken up until Nov. 27, as item 39, and I found that public comments, that start at 6:30, are based on items not yet listed as consent items.

There were about ten public comments, some lengthy, on a range of topics. Two citizens debated on whether Arlington government was sufficient committed to going green in its own county property (there was some humorous mention of fractal mathematics). A couple other speakers listed complaints against specific apartment landlords and one complained of having a 120 day notice to vacate without relocation assistance, and did not mention whether he had a lease (was this a condo conversion, a non-payment issue, or some sort of lease non-compliance issue, or a month-month issue?) The Board sounded willing to follow up on each specific comment. This was an interesting experience.

The link for Board meetings is here.

The Washington Post has a story dated Sept. 11, 2007 by Bill Turque for Fairfax County VA (adjacent to Arlington and much larger): "Board Takes Step to Raise Commercial Tax", link here.

Online Gambling in Massachusetts

There is a new controversy in Massachusetts about big government and online gambling, which Congress had already addressed with the the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which had been connected to a homeland security ports security bill. It was singed in to law on Oct 13, 2006 and would prohibit all credit card transactions or electronic funds transfers or checks for online wagers for most gambling, effective immediately.

The reference is here.
“Massachusetts Governor Hedges Bet on Online Gambling” by Tom Barlow
Gov. Deval Patrick reportedly want to ban online gambling with jail terms, to drive gambling to three casinos to be built. You support your political contributors by prohibitionism. Andrew Sullivan can vouch for that.

(There is a followup on this item on this blog on Nov. 28 2007).

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