In a failed vote on town reversion in 1970 and a successful one in 1982 on a revenue-sharing agreement, Charlottesville and Albemarle County voters effectively decided the region’s fate. The two communities have remained independent of each other, yet intrinsically intertwined by shared resources and cultural identity.
But there is also tension in the relationship, as evidence by the myriad conflicts between the political entities that govern each community, and a perception by some county residents that the 35-year-old revenue sharing agreement that funnels millions of county taxpayer dollars into city coffers each year has been illegitimate since 1987.
In that time, the city has appropriated approximately $280 million from the county. The annual transfer payment, which this year stands at $15.8 million, prevents the city from annexing county land, but a state moratorium on annexation was put in place in 1987, five years after city and county made their pact.