Friday, January 09, 2009

Augusta home reappraisals up 28% ... commercial property up 42%

The news is in on Augusta County real estate appraisals ... and it's not good. Reassessment increases of 28% on residential properties will be reflected in notices to be mailed to county residents later this month.

Commercial property increases averaged a substantial 42%.

According to the Waynesboro News Viriginian:
The value of Augusta County residential property will reflect a 27.7 percent average increase when reassessment notices are mailed out to county residents Jan. 22.

The Augusta County Board of Assessors learned of the results of the postponed reassessment when the board met Thursday morning with Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal Company, the Staunton company that performed the reassessment.

Commercial property in the county increased by an average of 42.3 percent, said Dave Hickey, owner of Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal.

Of the residential increase, Hickey said it reflects not only county housing sales through December but also a softening of the area market.
DJ McGuire at Right-Wing Liberal pointed out in his recent post about this issue that this issue is not just about Augusta County.

At a time when many are in financial difficulty, state and county budgets are being cut, jobs are being lost, and businesses are closing, there are sure to be protests from residents. Even Augusta County public schools have been notified of a $4.7 million cut from the state budget.

A sample of public reaction may be reflected in a comment already left this morning on the News Virginian's website:
What is the criteria for these ridiculous increases? Wishful thinking? The idea that commercial property values in Augusta County have increased by more than 40% over any short timeframe must be the board of supervisors’ idea of a sick joke. Could any commercial property owner sell it for 20% more than they paid for it two years ago? Doubtful. Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal must earn a large commission for each percentage point they add to the increases. Otherwise, there’s simply no rational explanation for it.
Look for long lines at the Government Center again and overflowing crowds at Board of Supervisor meetings to hear if they will equalize the real estate tax rate which currently sits at 58 cents per $100.

County residents will be able to phone between Jan. 23 and Feb. 6 to schedule an appeal. Appeal hearings will begin Jan. 26 through Feb. 27 at the Government Center.

Augusta Board of Supervisor meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month at 7:00 pm at the Government Center located on Rt. 11 in Verona. Concerns and comments can be passed on to individual supervisors:

- Jeremy Shifflett, Beverley Manor
Cell Phone: 540.294.2289

- Gerald Garber, Middle River
Home: (540) 234-8388

- Larry Howdyshell, North River
Home: (540) 350-2591

- Tracy Pyles, Pastures
Home: (540) 337-7010

- Nancy Sorrells, Riverheads
Home: (540) 377-6390

- David Beyeler, South River
Home: (540) 943-3202

- Wendell Coleman, Wayne
Home: (540) 430-1350

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