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Honored Advisor

Land values/ property tax ???

In 2009, our Virginia county had a general revaluation of all real properties, setting the tax base for the following four years. Timing could not have been much worse, since the comparable sales the assessors were required to use by law were pre-2008 meltdown prices, but real values has already started to plummet.

County commissioners actually left taxes relatively flat, by lowering the rate per $100 of assessed value - really the only variable where there is any latitude in the process there -but citizens were furious. Not very many understand how the valuation process is dictated by law, and too many got all in an uproar unnecessarily, before the rate adjustment left them even.

With housing values in the pits - I saw as much as a 25% reduction in values o the rental houses in the 2013 revaluation - and rates still down somewhat from 5-6 years ago, our property taxes in Va actually came down overall this year. I am saying it was about a 12% drop. Great for us!

This has me thinking about what happens to you folks with these exorbitant land sales all around you. Fo these comparable values drive your property assessments way up? If so, for how many years? In Va, our revaluations have to be every four years at most. In NC, it is six years between revaluations.

Yes, we have use-based valuations in both states ( deferrals of some part of value on ag and forest land, as long as the parcel stay in the family). Still, one vote of three county commissioners could dismantle that tax break, so it is always at risk to some degree.

Are your taxes on farmland up, or expected to rise, with record farmland prices documented all over the map? Or, is your valuation cycle going to allow you a few years, to see if things cycle back towards more normal values?

Or, do property taxes work an entirely different way where you live and own land?

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