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Personal-property tax rate will increase for some residents
Date published: 4/26/2012
Spotsylvania officials expect to collect $1.3 million more in personal-property taxes in 2012-13 than in the current fiscal year because of more vehicles in the county and more residents buying new cars.
In fact, more new vehicles were registered in the Fredericksburg area in March than in any month since June 2008, according to data recently released by the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association.
In Spotsylvania, 1,292 vehicles were registered during the first three months of 2012. That's 262 more than in the same period last year.
Smith says that for him and other new-car buyers, the personal-property tax increase may cancel out the decrease to the county administrator's recommended real-estate rate.
"You haven't really done anything for me," he said.
The Board of Supervisors last week approved a real-estate tax rate of 88 cents per $100 of assessed value--two cents below the equalized rate--following a countywide reassessment of property.
The rate for 2012-13 is more than the current 86-cent rate because overall home values declined by 2 percent, based on the reassessment.
Supervisor Benjamin Pitts said the board's new majority violated its campaign pledge to not increase taxes.
"They can try to wash it any way they want," Pitts said. "They supported a tax increase."
Pitts voted in favor of the approved real-estate and personal-property tax rates, but had expressed support for the equalized real-estate rate.
County Administrator Doug Barnes recommended the equalized rate of 90 cents, which would have generated 1 percent more revenue than the previous year as allowed under state code.
The 2-cent reduction to the equalized rate will save the average homeowner $34, based on the average assessed value of residential property.
Under the 88-cent rate, about 56 percent of homeowners will pay lower taxes, and the rest will pay more.
Spotsylvania officials expect to collect $102.7 million in real-estate taxes for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That's $300,000 more than the county anticipates receiving this fiscal year.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402