Axios Richmond

Newsletter branding image

🦅 Tuesday Tuesday! Special teams, special plays, special players.

🌧️ Today's weather: Chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 84.

ğŸŽ§ Sounds like: "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

📍 Situational awareness: Join Axios' Niala Boodhoo and Sabrina Moreno tomorrow at 10am for an event about solutions to guide the future of energy in Virginia and beyond. Register here to attend in person.

Today's newsletter is 906 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: How our population is growing

Map of U.S. counties showing the change in population from 2020 to 2023. Overall, the U.S. population grew by 1%. Idaho, Florida and South Carolina saw the most population growth, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana saw the most decline.
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

More people are moving to the Richmond area, according to new estimates from the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: It's driving population growth and possibly your road rage.

By the numbers: Richmond's metro area grew 2.5% between July 2020 and July 2023, with more than 33,000 new people calling the River City region home.

  • That's a greater change than major metro areas like Denver (1.2%) Miami (0.81%) and San Francisco (-3.7%) and the 1% population increase nationwide.
  • And most importantly, Arlington (0.99%) and D.C. (0.71%).

The big picture: It's a continuation of a trend that's seen Richmond become the fastest growing region in the state, in part due to remote-working transplants from Northern Virginia and the D.C. area.

Yes, but: Even though we're ranked 43rd of 132 metro areas in the U.S. with more than 500,000 people, most of the South has the metro area's growth rate beat.

  • Among them: Nashville (4%), Charlotte (5%) and Austin (7.5%).

Meanwhile, Richmond's population only jumped 1% while Goochland (9.4%), Chesterfield (5.1%) and Hanover (3.6%) all saw greater increases, per census figures — which means the growth is largely coming from the suburbs.

  • Henrico lost a small percentage (-0.04%) which comes out to 145 fewer people, as did Petersburg (-.026%).
  • New Kent County had the greatest growth in Virginia from 2020 to 2023 at 13%.

Keep reading for the Virginia localities with the steepest population drops

2. 🙈 Car taxes are here

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some Richmonders are experiencing sticker shock when opening their annual car tax bills, which started hitting local mail and inboxes last week.

Why it matters: The tax break locals have been getting on their personal property bills since 2022 dropped significantly this year.

The big picture: Each year, every Virginia locality gets state funds to offer residents personal property tax relief on the first $20,000 of their car's assessed value.

Due to COVID-era surges in car values, Richmond City Council approved in 2022 a stair-step approach to how much car tax relief it would offer over the next three years.

  • In 2022, the city covered 50.4% of the total tax due on the first $20,000 of the car's assessed value.
  • In 2023, it was 36.6%.
  • This year, it's 22%.

Zoom in: So this year, on a car valued at $20,000, the total car tax due for locals is $577 ($740 before relief with the city covering $163).

  • Last year, the owner of a car with that same value would've owed $469, and $367 the year before that.

Worth noting: Richmond's suburban neighbors charge a lower car tax rate than the city and will offer a higher relief percentage this year, RVA5X5 reports.

Go deeper with how Richmond determines the car value

3. 🌊 The Current: Charges dropped in Irvo Otieno case

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Dinwiddie County dropped second-degree murder charges against five of the eight Henrico County sheriff's deputies charged with the death of Irvo Otieno. (WRIC)

  • Otieno died of asphyxia last year after police and hospital workers physically restrained him while in a mental crisis at Central State Hospital.

🪧 Dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters shut down multiple streets Monday as they marched from Monroe Park to Sen. Tim Kaine's downtown Richmond office, calling on him to condemn the response to the protest on VCU's campus last week. (Times-Dispatch)

💰 The Hanover County Supervisor who will pick the county's next School Board member accepted campaign donations from three of the candidates vying for the role. (Times-Dispatch)

4. 👀 Trump thinks he can win Virginia

Former President Donald Trump at his trial in New York City on Monday. Photo: Julie Nikhinson/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump's campaign believes he could flip Virginia in November's presidential election, reports NBC News.

Why it matters: A Republican presidential candidate hasn't won here since 2004.

The big picture: Top Trump advisers showed donors internal surveys suggesting a tight race between him and President Biden in a closed door meeting at the Republican National Committee retreat this weekend.

  • The polling, which Trump aides declined to share in its entirety with NBC News, had Biden leading Trump 48% to 44% in a head-to-head matchup in Virginia.
  • That's similar to recent numbers from Roanoke College, which has Biden winning 47% to Trump's 43%.

Yes, but: In 2020, Biden beat Trump by 10 percentage points, or 54% to 44%.

  • Top strategists in both parties also told Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei that the Biden-Trump election will likely be decided in six swing states — and Virginia is not one of them.

Share this story

Be a local news champion

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

Calling all local news enthusiasts! We aim to be your go-to source for timely, relevant stories that impact our community.

Help us continue our mission to keep you informed by becoming an Axios Richmond member today.

  • For just $50+ a year, you'll receive exclusive perks and support our newsroom's growth.

Join the club and make a difference!

5. 🤭 The lies our moms tell

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Karri here, thinking about my mom this Mother's Day week and all the lies she told me when I was growing up.

Why it matters: My mom, like yours, lied all the time, and nearly every one she told, I realized later, was told out of love.

You know the lies I mean. The ones meant to make us feel better about ourselves ("You were a pretty 8-year-old"), to keep us safe and healthy ("Coffee will stunt your growth") and to bring us joy ("Santa is real").

Case in point: Our childhood pets — and the alleged "farm" where they all lived out their final days.

The bottom line: Our moms are liars, every one of them. And we're grateful for the lies they told us.

Now we want to hear yours. Hit reply to tell us the lies your mom told you with love that helped make you the well-adjusted, fabulous person you are today.

😒 Karri is thinking about her brother's childhood cat, Panther, the one that jumped out a car window when they moved across town and ran 8 miles back home, where he lived a long and happy life being raised by their former neighbors.

  • Or so she was told.

🙄 Sabrina would like to nominate Scott's Addition as having the worst drivers in Richmond, simply for how you can consistently count on them to blow through every single stop sign.

Editor's note: Yesterday's 1 big thing was corrected to note that Virginia's share of bridges in poor condition is better than that of 39 other states (not better than all but those states).

Thanks to Fadel Allassan for editing and Carlin Becker for copy editing today's edition.