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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Lynchburg City Property Assessments Climb: Projecting 3 Million Dollar Increase in 2006 Budget

The News and Daily Advance is reporting that property taxes will affect residents city wide. If you opened your tax notice and found a dramatic increase in your assessed property value, you are not alone.

If you find this assessment unfair there are steps you can take, but time is running out and you have to act quick. You have until Thursday of this week.

This is what you need to do, if you find your assessment unfair. File a form with the city to go before the Board of Equalization. They have the power to lower your assessed value.

The News and Advance reports that:
“Of the 1,566 appeals, city staffers changed assessments on 963 parcels.
Citywide, people who appealed had an average of 17 percent knocked off their assessment.”

If you find yourself in this predicament. Remember the time to act is now. Here is a city site were you can learn about the appeal process.

On March 8th, 2005 this was the proposal by:
L. Kimball Payne, III, City Manager:

Real Property Tax revenues are projected to total $38.6 million, an increase of approximately $3.0 million, or about eight and one half percent (8.5%) from the FY 2005 revised estimate.

This is due to the capture of updated market values as a result of completion of the biennial reassessment and to some growth through new construction and rehabilitation. Real Property Tax revenue projections are adjusted for an historically uncollectible percentage of two percent(2%), tax relief for the elderly ($516,000) and rehabilitation tax credits ($209,000). For budget discussions, each penny on the Real Property Tax rate will generate approximately $350,000.

This revenue source represents over one-third (37.1%) of General Fund non-dedicated revenues. The Assessor’s Office is currently completing the biennial reassessment of real property which will take effect on July 1, 2005. Notices to property owners will go out March 1.

At this point, it is projected that the total assessed value of real property in the City will increase eight and one-half percent (8.5%) to nearly three and one half billion dollars ($3,471,288,000).Excluding new construction and corrections to assessment records, the total assessed value will grow by six and one half percent (6.5%).

Adjusting the Real Property Tax rate to produce the same amount of revenue as during FY 2005 would require a reduction from $1.11 to $1.045 per hundred dollars of assessed value. Such a reduction, which is not recommended in this budget, would require an adjustment of approximately $2.3 million to estimated revenues for FY 2006. Council will be required to hold a public hearing on the effective tax increase prior to budget adoption.


(City Council and local issues)

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