Victoria town council weighs tax rate options

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 23, 2024

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Real property value in the Town of Victoria jumped 19.29% in the latest assessment. That was the news delivered by Manager Rodney Newton at the Tuesday, Feb. 13 Victoria town council meeting. That means total land value and improvements went from $72.126 million to $86 million for 2024. 

Now the Code of Virginia only allows up to a 1% increase in revenue at the current tax rate before a town or county has to make a decision. Thanks to that increase in property value, Victoria is now above that 1%. That left town council with some options. They could either lower the property tax rate, causing the increase in revenue to drop below 1% or they could keep it at the current rate. However, if they chose Option B, then they would need to hold a public hearing before adopting the next budget. 

Councilmember James Elam Jr. suggested leaving the rate as is, giving the extra money to the fire and police departments in the budget. Newton said if that happens, then Victoria would be looking at an extra $25,040.70 in revenue. He suggested, if the Victoria town council agrees to keep the extra revenue, to set aside $12,500 for the fire department, then splitting the remainder with the police department.

The council agreed to do that, with a motion made by Councilman Chris Gill and seconded by Councilman Ronald Mattox. To be clear, this isn’t an increase on the Victoria tax rate. However, since property values increased, it would mean an increased bill for many residents.

A public hearing to discuss the tax rate and plans for the increased revenue will be held at the March council meeting in Victoria.