Portsmouth (pronounced "Port-smith") is an independent city located in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 100,565, but a July 1, 2002 Census estimate showed the city's population dropping to 99,790.
A Virginia state legislator recently proposed a plan by which Portsmouth would merge with its neighbor cities of Norfolk and Suffolk. After a cold reception from Suffolk, the legislator changed the plan so that it would merge only Portsmouth and Norfolk. The plan, in any form, is enthusiastically embraced in Portsmouth, which has virtually no room for growth and a radically limited tax base. A large portion of the city is controlled by the U.S. Navy; when Navy facilities are combined with schools, churches, and other tax-exempt entities, over half of Portsmouth's assessed valuation is off the tax rolls.