Required property tax rate reduction?

Who knew?  From the Albemarle County Republican Committee* newsletter:

Albemarle Tax Rate Lowered from $0.74 to $0.58

Do you own property in Albemarle County?  Did your assessment go up?  If so, read on … you may be surprised at what you learn …

It’s a dirty little secret of local government, but state law requires that when real property assessments go up, the tax rate MUST go down. No debate.  No vote.  It is automatically reduced.

A. When any annual assessment, biennial assessment or general reassessment of real property by a county, city or town would result in an increase of 1 percent or more in the total real property tax levied, such county, city, or town shall reduce its rate of levy for the forthcoming tax year so as to cause such rate of levy to produce no more than 101 percent of the previous year’s real property tax levies, unless subsection B of this section is complied with, which rate shall be determined by multiplying the previous year’s total real property tax levies by 101 percent and dividing the product by the forthcoming tax year’s total real property assessed value. An additional assessment or reassessment due to the construction of new or other improvements, including those improvements and changes set forth in § 58.1-3285, to the property shall not be an annual assessment or general reassessment within the meaning of this section, nor shall the assessed value of such improvements be included in calculating the new tax levy for purposes of this section. Special levies shall not be included in any calculations provided for under this section. (bolding mine)

So what does that mean this year? County-wide, our property assessments went up 29.80%  over the past two years.  If you do the math–and allow the extra 1% provided by the state code–the result is a new tax rate of $0.576 per $100 of assessed value.

Two years ago, our tax rate was $0.76, and it was automatically lowered to about $0.61 due to the increase in assessments.  The Albemarle Board of Supervisors voted to set the new rate at $0.74–an increase of $0.13–not the decrease of $0.02 that some supervisors bragged about!

What will happen this year?  Who knows?  But any rate above $0.576 will be an increase in our tax rate.

What can you do?  Contact your Albemarle County Supervisor, tell them that the county already collects an enormous amount of revenue, and that enough is enough.

Also, forward this email to a friend or neighbor. Encourage them to read this article, and to call their supervisor too.

Together, we can stop another huge tax rate increase!

After reading the cited law, one would think that we can expect our tax to be reduced. It appears to me upon first reading that this is a similar bill that did not pass out of committee in this year’s General Assembly session.

*This post is not an endorsement for or against the Albemarle County Republicans as I try to be party-independent. This however, is very interesting that appears to apply to all localities, not just Albemarle.

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