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Zip Code Battle: City Fires Back With TV Spot

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Annexation hasn't been an issue in Richmond for decades, but Henrico County's recent attempts to create a separate postal address are taking on the feel of a pitched annexation battle, as city and county officials duke it out with a series of television spots.

Tonight, Richmond unveils its response to a Henrico advertisement that's run for the past week or so.

"We're just clarifying the situation," says Richmond spokesman Jon Baliles. "I think it very clearly lays out the situation that every year tax dollars are sent to other localities -- that Henrico tax dollars end up in Richmond and vise-versa -- and then each's finance department sends a check to balance it all out. It all works out in the end."

Henrico officials claim they lose as much as $5 million a year in tax dollars accidentally mailed to Richmond. Nearly all of Henrico shares zip codes with the city -- only a few small county "towns" like Glen Allen are exceptions -- and because of this some property tax bills go to the city.

Baliles says the commercial disputes the county's $5 million figure, with city estimates closer to between $1 million and $2 million.

In Henrico's commercial, Baliles says, "they make it seem like they never get the money."

The city spots will have a much shorter run than the county's efforts, Baliles says.

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