Portsmouth leaders fear Port deal will cost city millions of dollars

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth leaders are trying to determine what a new Port contract will mean for the city’s finances.

Governor Terry McAuliffe says the deal between the Virginia Port Authority and Virginia International Gateway is a big win for the Commonwealth, but Portsmouth leaders fear the city will be the big loser.

Vice Mayor Elizabeth Psimas told 10 On Your Side Monday that Portsmouth will no longer be allowed to collect taxes on certain property, including the large cranes at the port and that will cost upwards of $1 million a year.

Psimas sent a letter to the governor last week asking for help.

“I hope I can depend on the governor and his team to follow through on their statements that, ‘We’re going to keep you whole’ comments, which we’ve heard publicly more than once,” Psimas said.

WAVY News reached out to the governor’s office and Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane responded. He told 10 On Your Side the state is encouraging the city and the Port Authority to sit down and make sure everyone is on the same page with what’s being taxed. He believes there may be a discrepancy and will withhold further comment until that’s done.