Real property tax assessments rose by an average of 1.4% in Albemarle County for 2021, the slowest rate of growth since 2013.
County Assessor Peter Lynch presented details of this year’s reassessments to the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday. The county will mail assessment notices on Jan. 29.
The Jack Jouett District saw the largest increase in tax value, with assessments increasing by an average of 3.3%.
Assessments on properties in the White Hall District increased by an average of 2.5%, the Samuel Miller District increased by an average of 2.4%, while the Rivanna District assessments increased by an average of 1%. The Rio District had an average decrease of 0.1%, and the Town of Scottsville and the Scottsville District each saw an average decrease of 0.4%.
Supervisor Ann H. Mallek asked if the average increase in the White Hall District was due to new construction in Crozet, and Lynch said it was not, as these numbers are reassessment only and do not include new construction.
“Now, the demand out there that is driving that new construction is the same demand that is driving the increase in assessments on existing properties, so it’s connected in that way,” he said.
Residential properties in the county’s urban areas increased by an average of 3.1%, regardless of which district they lie in, while residential parcels up to 20 acres increased by 3.2%. Rural properties from 20 to 99.99 acres increased by an average of 1.7%. Rural properties larger than 100 acres decreased by an average of 1.2%.
Commercial property assessments decreased by an average of 5.5% and multi-family properties decreased by 1.3%.
“I wanted to provide some perspective on the properties that were affected the most by the economic impacts of the COVID situation that we’ve gone through, were hotels and shopping centers, and it’s reflected in their values,” Lynch said.
Assessments on hotels decreased by an average of 22.9% and shopping centers saw an average decrease of 21.4%.
Lynch said that over the last several years, prior to 2020, most hotels in Albemarle have seen their values slowly climbing.
“This was just a huge hit to their operations, where normally hotels in our area are occupied maybe 60% to 70% on average for the year, and they’ve been seeing 20% to 30%,” he said. “So it’s a huge drain.”
A majority of single family residential parcels, 29,473, saw an increase in its assessment of between 0 and 10%.
Properties valued up to $150,000 saw an average increase of 4.6%, Lynch showed, and properties valued between $150,001 to $250,000 and $250,001 to $350,000 saw an average increase of 4.5% and 4.1%, respectively.
Higher valued properties, between $450,001—$650,000 and $650,001—$1,000,000, saw average increases of 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.
“Now typically there’s a lot more demand on those lower end properties,” Lynch said. “We also have been seeing on the higher end properties, some difficulty with homes that are larger than 4,500-5,000 square feet, so that has been putting a little pressure on the top end.”
Lynch said the median home value is $354,500, and a taxpayer whose home increased by 3.2% to $354,500 this year would pay $93.94 more in taxes at the same tax rate. The current tax rate in Albemarle is 85.4 cents per $100 of assessed value, but that could be changed by the Board of Supervisors.
State law requires that localities assess properties objectively and at 100 percent of their fair market value.
Property owners who want their assessment reviewed may call the assessor’s office to confirm the property description. Property owners also may request a review from the assessor’s office, which must be submitted by Feb. 28.
Another option for property owners is to request a Board of Equalization appeal, which must be submitted by March 30 or within 30 days of the date of the letter response from the review from the assessor’s office, whichever is later.