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 Local updated 10/2/07 

Chesapeake - The city is beginning its budget process and is seeking citizen input earlier than it has in any previous budget cycle.  Public comment sessions are scheduled for Mon., Oct. 1, at South Norfolk Library, 1100 Poindexter St. Tues., Oct. 2 at Russell Memorial Library, 2808 Taylor Road Wed., Oct. 3 at Major Hillard Library, 824 Old George Washington Highway Thurs., Oct. 4 at the sheriff's training room, 401 Albemarle Drive.  All of these sessions begin at 6:00 p.m.  City Council will have a comment session on October 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Chesapeake Conference Center.


Federal - The House Ways and Means Committee has passed H.R. 3648, the mortgage cancellation relief bill.  This bill, which prevents a homeowner's mortgage debt which has been forgiven by the mortgage company from being treated as income for the homeowner for the purposes of taxation, now awaits action in the full House.  Currently a homeowner whose mortgage company agrees to forgive some or all of their mortgage debt to help the homeowner avoid foreclosure must claim the forgiven debt as income on their tax returns.  This bill is one of NAR's highest priorities this year. 


Norfolk - The city is resuming its illegal sign removal classes.  The class schedule is available here.


Portsmouth - The United States Senate voted 81 to 12 this week to approve $356.1 million for the Craney Island port expansion.  The proposed new 580 acre port facility is expected to cost $2.2 billion and the first phase is expected to be operational by 2017.  The U.S. House of Representatives has also approved the funding, which would go towards expanding Craney Island to the east.  President Bush has pledged to veto the bill which contains the appropriation, but the overwhelming House and Senate votes signal that Congress will override the threatened veto.


Virginia Beach - City Council will hold a Town Meeting on October 16 from 7:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center to discuss the 2008-2010 biennial budget with the public.  Registration in advance in required by calling 385-3111.


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