Supervisors Unanimous on 74.2¢ Tax Rate

The whole of the Board of Supervisors has come together to support a 74.2¢ real estate tax rate, Brandon Shulleeta writes in the Daily Progress today. The original debate was between starting with a 74.5¢ rate or a 90¢ rate, and whittling down from there, with Ken Boyd wanting the former and David Slutzky wanting the latter. (The existing rate is 71¢ per $100 of assessed value.) Slutzky had wanted at least 80¢ in the final rate, but told reporters after last night’s meeting that his constituents had told him, overwhelmingly, that taxes shouldn’t be raised now. Setting the rate at 74.2¢ keeps the dollar value of county revenues the same, as well as the dollar cost of taxes to property owners. Note that this wasn’t a vote to set the rate, just to determine the rate that they’ll advertise for a public hearing, after which they’ll set the rate.

24 thoughts on “Supervisors Unanimous on 74.2¢ Tax Rate”

  1. I think that by law the rate cannot be higher than the rate advertised. Someone from ATTA will correct me if I’m wrong, I’m sure. However, I would bet that it won’t be lower than advertised. An interesting change of opinion from Mr. Slutsky.

  2. Decrease the property assessments, which was warranted. And then raise the tax rate.

    I would suggest the county provide each taxpayer with a jar of vasoline. But the tax rate would have to go up to 75.5 cents then to purchase it. :)

  3. CVille Eye, over the next few days, just ask around. Ask your friends. Ask your family members. Tell ’em the comment I made and the fact you understand my comment. I’m sure somebody will explain it to you. :)

    I just don’t think I should go into a detailed explanation here. :)

  4. I guess I’m supposed to be the only one in the room without a clue. Not the first time. I’ll ask around this evening.

  5. By law (Va Code 58.1-3321), the BOSs need to hold a public hearing (per para B, which shall not to be held at the same time as the annual budget hearing). The public notification of the public hearing needs to be 30 days prior and includes all the particulars of the increase. A new public hearing will need to be held if the announced rate increases after the public hearing. Which will require another 30 day public notification. The new rate has to be approved by the BOS on or before April 15th.

  6. Mr. Slutzy was on WINA the evening the tax rate was announced and explained the people he represented had indicated to him they wanted a lower rate. Based on that, he changed his position. I am not in his district but based on his prior comments of wanting a rate of .90/$100 I was not a big fan of his. His turn-around on this issue shows that he seems to be listening to his constituents and he wants to be re-elected.

  7. … people really need to *tell* the BoS they want lower taxes in tough economic times?


  8. I’m mad that it took this long for the BOS to finally hear what their constituents were saying. I’m also mad that they took the “easy” way out and kept the budget the same as last year.

    What the BOS should have have been doing, was working to reduce costs and budget for a reserve fund. Which BTW, they should have started YEARS AGO.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that everyone should plan for the unexpected. There should have always been a reserve fund that held at least 3 months of funding. It should have been funded in the “fat” years and used in the “lean” ones to offset any tax increases.

    If we had a 3 month reserve fund, it would have offset a tax increase of over 6 percent. Which equates to about 5 cents per 100 dollars of assessed value.

    If this had been done, the BOS would not be talking about raising taxes and we would not be in the position we are in today of paying for their mistakes.

    We really need to be demanding that the BOS start a reserve fund. It can’t be funded this year, but at least it will be in place for better ones. And there is no reason to raise taxes to fund a reserve. Like it was suggested this year. A 1 or 2 percent reduction in spending, will not cause havoc in providing services.

  9. They need to cut costs and waste – perhaps their own salaries? – rather than raise taxes, especially in these outrageously difficult economic times.

    My husband and I have both lost our jobs – the city tells us that our house/land is worth 391,000 by its assessment, but an independent appraiser says it’s really $365,000! When we tried to contest this situation, we were basically told that “that’s they way it is”. The county’s citizens should not stand for any increase in taxation.

    The council needs to hand deliver gallons of that Vaseline!

  10. My husband and I have both lost our jobs – the city tells us that our house/land is worth 391,000 by its assessment, but an independent appraiser says it’s really $365,000!

    It’s really important to emphasize that this has absolutely nothing to do with elected officials or with desire for revenue. Elected officials have no role at all in assessments. They’re based entirely on what (in your case) the city determines to be the fair market value of the land and the property. There is a formal process for contesting assessments in the city. If you haven’t gone through that, you should. If your property really is worth $26k less than the city thinks that it is, then you stand to save a considerable amount in taxes.

    Incidentally, this is why I’d like to see Charlottesville and Albemarle reassess only at the time that a property is transferred. That way the only thing that is changing from year to year is the rate, which requires an honest debate among elected officials to set, instead of this business of saying “well, assessments went up so, bad news, everybody’s taxes are going up 10%.” When you buy a house for $200k, part of the thinking that goes into that decision is doing the math on the taxes. It’s hard enough to forecast what tax rates might be in the future, but having to figure out the bivariate calculation of changing home value is just a mess.

  11. I am interpreting the comment by S.O.S Same old sh** ! expresses the idea that, if there is evidence that there are a considerable number of properties that are over assessed in the opinion of appraisers, the elected officials should take that into consideration when setting the tax rate.
    S.O.S Same old sh** !, if your conversation with the city was the result of your appeal on your assessment, you can take your appraisal to court. It should be valuable evidence.
    I have often heard from people that when they talk to staff in the assessor’s office, they are treated with a great deal of disrepect. Why hasn’t O’Connell told the Assessor that this is not “good customer service?” Since an appraiser takes into consideration recent sales of comparables as well the current condition of the individual property in order to determine fair market value and the assessor does not, why wouldn’t the assessor use the appraiser’s information? When a property owner appeals his assessment, the assessor is supposed to employ the same methods as the appraiser. Does our assessor have O’Connell’s approval to ignore it, and, if so why? If there are a sizable number of properties currently selling for less than assessment (and my realtor tells me there are) wouldn’t it be less time consuming to use the information provided by a licensed appraiser and avoid many court appeals?

  12. CVille Eye, there aren’t a lot of court appeals. I have noticed that most homes in the city and county are currently selling for 10% to 15% less than they are appraised at. And this is because most people don’t have the time, backbone or money to appeal their assessments.
    One exception to this was my father. While it only involved vehicle taxes at the time, the county took my father to court back in 1978 or 1979. They had slandered his good name and accused him of tax evasion. He would buy and sell his year old cars and trucks prior to Jan 1 of each year, and he would not take possession of his new vehicles until Jan 2. The county attorney called this “tax evasion”, even though it was a perfectly legal loophole in the law. I was sitting in the courtroom when the county judge ordered the county attorney to never bring a case like this before him again, and he awarded my father all costs and damages. In other words, the county attorney had singled out my father as a test case because he bought a new pickup truck and new Cadillac each year and never had to pay personal property taxes taxes. My mother always claimed it was personal vendetta between a county employee and my father, the county employee was abusing his authority. But anyhow, vehicle taxes are now prorated of course, to prevent people from using this tax loophole like my father did each year.
    Bottom line, I wish more people had a backbone in taking on the city or county in their taxation practices. Most people are totally spineless sniveling cowards nowadays. Pass the vaseline around to them is the only solution.

  13. I tried to appeal my assessment in the city of Charlottesville, about nine years ago. When I called the assessor’s office, I was told that if I appealed, the end result would very likely be that my assessment would be raised even more. I think it’s threats like that that keep most people from appealing.

  14. I guy I worked with about 15 years ago told me that he called to find out how to “get his assessment changed” and he said he was told that the had to fill out a form and the assessor would come out to his house, and the assessor would have to report anything that wasn’t up to code and that bringing the house up to code might cost him more than is tax increase. My co-worker was afraid that the city would make hime replace all of his old plumbing so he didn’t fill out the form. I wasn’t there for the conversation, but, I telling it, not because of its veracity, but because if anyone has been told this they should know that it isn’t true.

  15. Just an update…

    Despite some delay, the assessor did come and speak with us, and he very polite. He looked at the house, and confirmed that our situation was a difficult one and said that the appeal was in process now. I was told that I can also appeal the appraisal. Not sure how that process goes. I don’t really understand how any of this system works, and, quite frankly, it makes no sense as it seems like the city is betting on the popularity of different neighborhoods. Our assessment went up bc people bought were buying in Belmont as they wanted to get a deal – prices went up, now no-one is buying. After Belmont, it has become Fifeville, as people started buying there as they felt they were getting more bang for their buck. HOWEVER, NOW THAT BELMONT HOUSES ARE NOT SELLING, WHEY DON’T ASSESSMENTS GO DOWN?

    I think we should all show up with pitch forks at city hall because there seems to be a lot of “that’s the way it is” thinking.

    I don’t understand why as Waldo points out that the elected officials or the desire for revenues have nothing to do with it – don’t we elect officials so that they act on our behalf for our welfare? If the city doesn’t want revenues, then why increase the rate? These two points don’t sound logical.

  16. Americans have a long history of not liking taxes (and wanting something for nothing). We wanted the British to send an army to the colonies to protect colonial encroachment into French and Indian territory….and when the British imposed taxes to pay for the war that resulted, (the Seven Years War) the colonists resented the taxation (the way the British imposed them didn’t help).

    I wonder how many of the resodents on this site voted for the Bush tax cuts and his deregulated government policies in 2000? And what resulted?

    Albemarle county is a wealthy county. It has one of the lowest real estate tax rates for its wealth in the state; perhaps the lowest when considering that 10 cents goes to the city in revenue-sharing. And, the county uses the land use taxation exemption more than any other Virginia county. Who is paying for that?

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