Board votes to keep tax rate

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tracy M.

Lunenburg County supervisors voted in favor of keeping its tax rate at 38 cents for $100 of assessed value following a public hearing about changes to real property tax as a result of an assessment the county took part in earlier this year.

Members of the board, during the special meeting and public hearing held Thursday at 5:30 p.m., discussed the real estate reassessment and the proposed tax rate as a result of the reassessment.

The total assessed value of real property—or fixed properties that include land and buildings— for the 2018 calendar year is $924,053,400, which comes at an increase of 6.4 percent, or $55,924,500 from the 2017 calendar year, according to a previous Dispatch report. The total assessed value for 2017 was $868,128,900.

A potential lowered tax rate of 36 cents, two cents lower than the 2017 original tax rate of 38 cents per $100 assessed value, was suggested to offset increased assessment, Gee said in an earlier interview.

No members of the public spoke during the hearing.

Regarding the tax rate, Gee said during the Thursday meeting, “that’s a 6 percent difference on the rate.

Overall on the budget, that’s less than a percent of an increase on our total, overall budget.”

The assessment of real property would result in an average 9-percent increase in tax for agricultural land. An example provided by the Commissioner of the Revenue noted agricultural land at a value of $100,000. This land, which would be valued at $109,000 with the increased percentage, would be taxed, with the 38 cent tax rate, at $414.20. This would be an increase of $34.20 from the 2017 tax for agricultural land.

For residence, land valued at $109,000, as an example, with improvements such as home renovations coming to $125,000, could come to a $234,000 value. The estimated tax, with the 38 cent tax rate, at $889.20. This would be a difference of $34.20 from the previous year.

She said the potential increases, which could vary from the 9 percent average, would depend on the property assessment.

“Based on the 38 cent tax rate per $100 on the values, our values went up $55.9 million,” Gee said. “But that means that our collections, if we collected every piece of that, go up about $212,000.”

“Each person would see a different type of increase for a level tax payment,”

Gee said. “It all is based on how each property was assessed.” Gee said the real estate tax is collected twice a year.

“My recommendation is to leave the tax rate at 38 cents, and realize the revenue,” Gee said.

She said the full revenue would not be included in the county budget. Gee noted she adjusted for potential delinquencies and property abatements.

Elizabeth “Liz” Hamlett, master commissioner, said new software allowed the real estate reassessment to be seamless.