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Spotsylvania settles lawsuit claiming it erroneously assessed a former Capital One building at Lee's Hill.
Date published: 5/26/2012
Spotsylvania County has settled a lawsuit claiming it assessed a former Capital One building in Lee's Hill at more than twice its actual value.
Spotsylvania County Attorney Jacob Stroman would not release the settlement amount, but he called it reasonable.
The lawsuit had sought a refund from the county of about $278,000 in real-estate taxes collected since 2010, plus interest.
The case had been scheduled for a hearing this week, but the two sides reached a settlement earlier this month.
MGP Real Estate and Rubenstein Partners, who own the former Capital One building at 10304 Spotsylvania Ave. south of Four-Mile Fork, claimed in a suit filed last year that the county erroneously assessed the property's worth. They hoped to have its assessed value reduced from $29 million to $11.5 million in 2010 and from $26.3 million to $11.5 million in 2011.
The building was sold for $10.1 million last year, about $16 million less than the assessed value at the time.
The value of the other Capital One building at 10300 Spotsylvania Ave. has been in dispute, too.
The county is appealing a recent Circuit Court ruling that it must refund about $200,000 in real-estate taxes to the owner, an affiliate of Washington-based Bernstein Management.
Circuit Court Judge David Beck signed a court order in March that reduced the property's assessed value from about $20.3 million to $12.8 million in 2008 and 2009, and from $20.3 million to about $14 million in 2010 and 2011.
Warrenton lawyer James Downey, who represents the owners of both former Capital One buildings, could not be reached for comment.
Stroman stressed that the case up for appeal should be viewed independently of the settled lawsuit.
"We feel very strongly that there are significant issues that merit review and we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will accept the case," he said.
Both former Capital One buildings near Interstate 95 have struggled to attract tenants over the years. Each has about 150,000 square feet, and each was assessed at about $15.4 million this year.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402