PORTSMOUTH -- Officials in Portsmouth are sounding off about port privatization.

The city stands to lose one of its largest tax resources if the state were to hand over the port to a private operator.

Two companies are offering up billions of dollars to take over, but the deals are unsolicited proposals and council members in Portsmouth think the state should have more control over the terms.

'We wouldn't decide to paint city hall purple because the purple paint salesman brought us a proposal,' said council member Elizabeth Psimas.

The Virginia Port Authority's Board of Commissioners will make the ultimate decision on whether to privatize, barring any legislation out of the General Assembly.

They expect to make a decision by the end of March.

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