Albemarle County Seeking to Raise Property Taxes. Again.

Real estate assessments rose again in Albemarle County in 2016 nearly 2% in 2015 after about 2.5% in 2014; now Albemarle County wants to increase the tax rate by 2.5 cents.

Sean Tubbs at Charlottesville Tomorrow writes (be sure to read the whole thing):

Rising population and sluggish growth in property values have led Albemarle’s county executive to propose a 2.5 cent real estate property tax increase in his recommended budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“The reality is, slow revenue growth in the face of consistently growing mandates and obligations and just keeping up with services has put us with a huge gap that we have to solve,” Thomas Foley told reporters at a briefing Thursday.

If adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the tax rate would be 84.4 cents per $100 of assessed value. The total operating and capital budget would total $375,226,727, a slight increase over the current year. The tax rate change would be retroactive to the beginning of the calendar year.

Start to learn about the budget at the County’s site. I’d love to see Albemarle County’s budget visually as Smart Cville have done with the City’s budget.

At some point, the revenue sharing agreement between Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville needs to be reevaluated where “10 cents of the real estate property tax rate collected in Albemarle is transferred on an annual basis to the City of Charlottesville” — in 2013, Albemarle County paid nearly $17 Million to the City. … since that’s not going to happen, how about we have the conversation about merging the localities?

From Sean’s story:

Another $125,000 would go toward an efficiency study which Foley said could be a precursor to working with the City of Charlottesville to find out where the two jurisdictions can share costs.

Another study.

And, from a long time ago:

5 Reasons why real estate assessments matter:

1) The County bases their budget on property tax revenue.

2) The assessed value is the value upon which property owners pay taxes.

3) Buyers look at assessed values as a measure of market value, but really, it’s a point in the equation, but are neither a definitive point nor a necessarily accurate one.

4) Also – “Virginia, unlike some other states, by Statute requires localities to assess property at 100% of fair market value, based on an objective analysis of the property’s fair market value.”

5) Sellers look at assessed values and wonder if buyers will think that the assessment means their home is worth X (it doesn’t).


What do real estate assessments mean?

My answer to a client this morning asking about the assessments’ relation to market value and pricing their home to sell:

“Assessments are not a reflection of market value. They are a backward-looking assessment of what the market value may have been at the time the assessor looked at the house (most likely online, and not in person). The assessor may or may not know the condition of the property, the condition of the property’s neighbors, may not consider the traffic noise, crime stats, proximity of sexual offenders, level of inventory, smell of the neighborhood, etc. etc. etc. Assessments are why you pay taxes on.”

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