Public Speaks Out at Reassessment

By: Mike Mueller
By: Mike Mueller

The real estate tax rate is being lowered from $1.96, but it may have to go down even lower to compensate for the increase in values from Staunton’s reassessments.

"I think the rise in the assessments is a good thing. I think we should be proud of that," says local resident Mark Hollberg.

Proud, very but still concerned. That's why Staunton residents packed City Hall to address their council members.

As attractive as a lower tax bill will be the amount of true benefit most citizens will enjoy in a diminished tax rate is small. With reassessments up an average of 18 percent in the city, council had to first address its real property rate.

"This law requires that a lowered tax rate, necessary to off-set the increased assessments be published in the advertisements," says City Manager Bob Stripling.

That number is 89 cents which is lower than the 96 cent rate that is currently proposed. Still, many older residents are concerned the 96 cents could be too high.

"We are here. We own our homes and we're trying to take care of them but the more you increase taxes the more it erodes our income," says Doug Manning.

The proposed 96 cent rate would be for the current fiscal year which ends in June. City Council could make that rate lower but not higher at its April 14 meeting.

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