City Assessments Released for Property Values

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

It's official, homes in Charlottesville are worth more this year than last.

The yearly taxable real property values increased by 13.3 percent for the 2005 year. Apparently, it's not shocking for some homeowners in the area.

“It didn't really surprise me. It's been a consistent upward trend. I think you can see it reflected in what houses are selling for," said C-Ville resident Cathy Harding.

The city assessor looked at inflation and appreciation in property values as well as new construction or improvements to existing structures. Also one of the reasons for the assessment increase - the desirability of the city.

"Charlottesville being one of the best places to live in the United States is driving the rocket back up," said city assessor Roosevelt Barbour Jr.

Residential property assessments went up 9.9 percent this year. For commercial properties, it's an increase somewhere between 7 and 10 percent.

The city says the increases are fairly widespread throughout, but some residents say property assessments have gotten way too high, which could mean residents may have to pay more in real estate taxes.

"Something's got to stop. There has to be a limit somewhere," said city resident Jean Sampson. "The homeowners can't take it all on."

No word on if taxpayers will actually be paying more though. That all depends on if tax rates stay the same.

"If the tax rate stays the same, it's gonna mean that the tax payer will pay more money in taxes. He has more bargaining power as far as borrowing on it for equity on his home, but bottom line he will pay more money in taxes," said Barbour.

In April, city council will decide whether property taxes will stay the same, go down, or possibly increase.

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