INFORMATION PLEASE, BARNIE

Barnie:

Some time ago you responded to a point made on this blog that I thought indicated that municipalities could not ride up property assesments to raise taxes. Fauquier’s budget is up 21% with no tax rate increase because of new assesments. I must have misunderstood your point. Could you re run it please.

(All this partisan political snipping and sniping has two impacts: Do not bother to vote and it takes up space that could be devoted to facts.)

Thank you

EMR


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  1. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    From the Virginia code:

    § 58.1-3321. Effect on rate when assessment results in tax increase; public hearings.

    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.

    B. The governing body of a county, city, or town may, after conducting a public hearing, which shall not be held at the same time as the annual budget hearing, increase the rate above the reduced rate required in subsection A above if any such increase is deemed to be necessary by such governing body.

  2. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I understood him to say that the legislature requires that localities rationalize the tax rate against the assessment increases. Practically speaking that means the board has to hold a public meeting to set the new rate – they can’t just ride it up without comment or vote.

    Other Jurisdictions re-assess annually so owners take a hit every year – compounded annually.

    Fauquier reasseses every three or four years so the compounding is not as bad. Therefore re-assessmets in FAuquier won’t com out until the next budget. As I understand it the 21% increase is due to additional assessments – new houses. somebody must be building a lot of McMansions to cover that much increase.

    Please tell me I’m wrong.

    Ray Hyde
    Delaplane

  3. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    You see, there is no sleight of hand on these local budgets, no conspirators. If and when taxes are raised, it is done in public, by folks who must face the wrath of the electorate. Of course, in the matter of additional ‘growth,’ Ray is, as I’ve noticed is the usual case, correct.

  4. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    Barnie:

    Thank you for responding to my question. Having lived and worked most of the last three decades in Virginia jurisdictions that reassess each year I did not catch the distinction between tax base increase due to reassessment and from new construction.

    Now that I know the rules, I am not as sanguine as you that the electeds are fair and square on riding up taxes with the reassessments.

    It is like those sainted “Section 456″ hearings that no one knows about until the backhoe digging a trench for a new water line comes down the road. I am sure most of the million plus residents of Fairfax County do not know what provision of the code triggers the need for any of the countless hearings the Board of Supervisors holds each week. The vast majority of the hearings I have witnessed have less than 1 person per 200,000 residents in attendance. Many have no one appear at all.

    Back to Fauquier County, it is indeed a lot of new development to cover a 21 % increase in spending without raising the tax rate. Someone needs to look into this.

    EMR

  5. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Around where I live there have been a number of fabulous (read overly ostentatious) homes built on fifty acre lots. One neighboring home must be 9000 sq. ft. – for two people. When people are building homes in the multiple millions of dollars, I imagine it affects the tax base substantially.

    I can’t imagine wanting a home like some that are being built, but if you’ve gao a few million dollars sitting around, what are your choices, Enron, Worldcom, Freddie Mac, HealthSouth, Tyco?

    Still 21% seems like a lot, maybe some of the money is coming out of the reserve fund in anticipation of next year’s re-assessment, which I expect will be close to or above 40%.

    Ray Hyde
    Delaplane

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