A note for Charlottesville readers. Due to popular demand, and my own annoyance, I’m removing some of the horrible real estate blogs from Charlottesville Blogs. Most of them are just ads, and totally dishonest ads, at that. (All of your listings are “gems”? Really?) They’re of no possible interest to anybody who lives in Charlottesville. And yes, thank you, we’ve heard of Monticello. Some I’m keeping. Most are going. So if your real estate blog disappears, blame yourself, because it’s bad.
Thank you Mr. Jaquith.
On the subject of real estate, have any localities in VA lowered the assessed value of properties in their jurisdictions? Does VA Code require accurate assessment? How fresh must an assessment be? Can we keep the real estate bubble on the tax rolls as we rumble into the depression?
To my knowledge, the state a) obligates assessments to be as accurate as possible and b) does not obligate assessments to be conducted at any minimum frequency. But that’s as it’s been described to me by others—I’m afraid I can’t cite a chapter and section of the Virginia code on that. Maybe somebody else can?
I believe, and I’ll try to cite the code later, that assessments have to be the actual value of the property. Some localities do them every four or five years (Nelson), some every year (Charlottesville) ….
I believe that Code also says that the rate has to drop to revenue neutral upon re-assessment (I could be wrong) and that the gov’t then has to advocate for a higher rate – this happened last time in Albemarle, where they’re already planning for an increase in the mil rate.
58.1-3280 of the Virginia Code requires the assessor to “ascertain and assess the fair market value of all lands and lots assessable by them, with the improvements and buildings thereon.”
Albemarle County Code 15-1000C requires assessments to be 100% of fair market value. Albemarle also went to an annual assessment last year or so, I’m guessing to capture all the “lost” revenue in times of rapidly increasing assessments.
Jim’s point is covered in 58.1-3321 which requires localities to adjust the tax rate if the assessments cause a jump of more than 1% over the previous year to a rate which would produce no more than 101% of the previous year’s tax revenue. I don’t think that will be a problem this year. I fully expect assessments to drop, which will require an increase in the assessment to remain revenue neutral. I believe I read somewhere that Supervisor Slutsky is already looking at a tax rate of 76 cents at a minimum (up from 71 cents currently). I have no idea what the rate would need to be to remain revenue neutral.
In Cumberland County two years ago, the ‘revenue-neutral’ amount was 49 cents. The BOS then characterized the new rate of 56 cents as a ‘tax break’, since the old rate had been 76 cents.
Just another example of how Cumberland County tells you one thing, and does another.
We are also currently in a spending and borrowing spree, borrowing ten million dollars using the Administration building as collateral for the IDA loan.
Kudos and thank you. Please keep the brilliant and entertaining Jim Duncan.
Brian Wheeler at Cvilletomorrow writes that the county staff is anticipating 74.5 cents to be revenue neutral. If I recall correctly, however, the county software can’t handle half-cents, so we’re looking at 75 cents as revenue neutral.
Thank you, Waldo!!
That’s the sort of thing that makes my head explode. (or desire that someone else’s does)
Thanks, Waldo! And I agree with Marijean – please keep the wonderful Jim Duncan’s blogs!
That article at Charlottesville Tomorrow Stormy is referring to is here along with a podcast of the discussion.
Apologies to Sean, who was the actual writer!
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