The only explanation I could come up with for this astronomical jump in appraisal has to relate to spectacular growth resulting from construction here in our very rural county, 70% of which is national forest, of
In talking to the neighbors, it appears that our situation isn't an aberration. Everyone's assessments went through the roof. And now the issue makes the news:
Spike in reassessments concerns Bland residentsThis, as you might imagine, has residents around here (the demographics of Bland County are skewed toward the elderly on fixed incomes) upset.
By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Bland, Va, — Concerns and questions about property tax reassessments with value increases as high as 400 percent are prompting some Bland County residents to seek answers from county officials.
“This would rate people out of their homes,” said James Carver, 73, of Bent Mountain. “What they’ve done on some of us is raise the assessment 400 to 500 percent. We were told back in the summer they were going to raise taxes and expecting 40 to 50 percent increases.”
Carver said the assessment on property he owned would increase from $76,000 to $322,000. (link)
What troubles me even more though is the reaction that our top county official has to the blowback coming from the citizenry:
[County Administrator Jonathan] Sweet said there are misconceptions about the reassessment. The last reassessment was conducted 6 years ago, and another is not planned for another six years. The assessments had gone up 400 percent “since six years ago,” not all at once, he said."A 400% increase in six years ain't all that bad. So shut up."
For the sake of comparison, the annual rate of inflation is around 3%.
3% X 6 (years) compounded ... Yeah, that would be around ... 400%.
So shut up.
Oh, then there's this:
“If there’s any question about your assessment, you need to see the County Assessor’s Office."We were notified that we could schedule a meeting with the County Assessor's Office to discuss the reassessment by dialing a number provided. Paula dialed that number yesterday to set up such an appointment for us.
It rang and rang and rang and rang and rang and rang and rang. Wisely I guess, nobody ever answered.
Then, finally there's this reminder from our county administrator, reminding us that he's neither stupid nor detached from the reality of the situation:
"The Board of Supervisors are not the ones that conduct the assessment.""Shut up AND take it somewhere else."
So who do we string up, Jonathan?