"Augusta needs lower tax rate" ... the editorial in the Waynesboro News Virginian tells what is on the minds of many Augusta County citizens.
While talking with county resident Sherri McCambridge on the increase of her property:
The land in Crimora serves as a septic drain field, an apropos use for the 62.6 percent increase assessors divined for the property.Only one supervisor has said he would push for lowering the tax rate:
That was almost double the average jump of 33.3 percent in the Middle River magisterial district, where McCambridge’s land is located. Other districts fared worse. Values soared by almost 50 percent in North River. In two other districts – Pastures and Middle River, neither of which is considered affluent – values increased by more than a third.
The figures are staggering at a time when governments elsewhere are staring at decreased home values and declining revenues, and the central Shenandoah Valley has been wobbled by the nationwide housing collapse and its ripple effect on the flooring industry. In two weeks, more than 200 Invista company workers will finish their shifts facing layoffs and gnawing uncertainty about their future prospects and the plant’s. Dozens of other workers at area companies tied to flooring are in similar predicaments.
Supervisors, if they felt the pain, could ease it by voting to reduce the tax rate to keep revenues level with last year, something Tracy Pyles of the Pastures District has urged but has failed, so far, to gain backing for from the other half-dozen members of the board. That would require Augusta to survive, somehow, on $43.3 million in property tax revenues. Getting by with the same or less is the task of taxpayers. Forgive them for feeling the government they fund ought do likewise.Read the entire editorial here.