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Three-quarters of city residential properties see assessments rise

Nearly three-quarters of Charlottesville’s residential properties saw their tax value increase last year under the latest annual reassessment.

The city announced Thursday that Charlottesville’s 15,138 taxable properties saw a 7.2% average increase in assessed value.

City Assessor Jeff Davis said the city’s total taxable value is $8.2 billion, up from $7.67 billion in 2018.

Davis said the assessment shows a “pretty healthy” local economy.

“It shows that the city is economically sound,” he said.

Residential properties increased by an average of 3.8%. Nearly three-quarters of residential properties’ assessment increased, while 3.4% declined and 23.6% remained the same.

Many neighborhoods were close to the same sales prices as the prior year, which kept the residential assessments from rising as much as previous years, Davis said.

The owner of a previously assessed $300,000 home would see their real estate tax payment increase $108 to $2,958. The levy is billed over two payments a year and the rate is 95 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Unless the City Council decreases the property tax rate, the reassessment will result in an effective tax increase, which requires a public hearing and council vote. Davis said he didn’t know what the tax rate would need to be to avoid an effective increase.

Last week, city staff presented a preliminary estimate of an additional $5 million in real estate tax revenue from the reassessment.

Davis said the price of homes is “the only driver” used to calculate assessments.

According to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, the median home sale price in the city increased 4% in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. The median sales price was $355,000, a $16,000 increase.

The number of sales rose by 1% in the city, according to CAAR.

Residential properties have seen assessments increase each year since 2014, with the largest increases occurring in 2017 and 2018. The latest jump is the smallest average increase since 2016.

The owner of a home assessed at $300,000 in 2013 has seen their property’s tax value rise by more than $80,000 with the yearly reassessment, contributing to an $801 increase in yearly real estate tax payments. The tax rate hasn’t been raised since 1981.

Commercial property assessments increased by 10.5%. Of the city’s commercial properties, 81.9% rose, 7.9% declined and 10.2% did not change.

Commercial assessments rose 3.8% in 2018 after two years of 30% jumps.

Commercial assessments were driven by the value of properties on the Downtown Mall, Cherry Avenue and West Main, High and Market streets, Davis said.

Combined existing residential and commercial property assessments increased by 6.6%.

General questions about the reassessment process can be found on the city’s website.

New construction rose 0.75% in the latest assessments.

For more information about the reassessments process and appealing the assessment on a property, visit charlottesville.org/assessor or call (434) 970-3136.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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