For the Albemarle County property tax rate, there’s nowhere to go but down. Last night, county supervisors Duane Snow, Dennis Rooker and Ann Mallek voted in favor of a tax rate that is one cent greater than the current rate—a proposed 75.2 cents per $100 assessed value. Stuck at a 3-3 tie, however, supervisors ultimately voted to advertise a 74.2-cent rate for the third consecutive year.
Last year, Snow—the Republican supervisor that replaced former Samuel Miller District rep Sally Thomas—voted alongside supervisors Ken Boyd, Lindsay Dorrier and Rodney Thomas to pass a 74.2 cent tax rate. The vote came amidst calls from many county residents to increase taxes to ensure adequate school funding. This year, a 1-cent increase would generate more than $1 million in additional revenue—which would make up for the proposed reductions to county schools’ building services and technology funds, by way of an example. (Or, read the county budget and pick your own!)
County Executive Tom Foley balanced the proposed Albemarle budget at a 74.2 cent rate, and explained during a February budget presentation that maintaining the rate would result in a tax decrease in light of a decline in county real estate assessments. Foley’s budget attributes 45 percent of the county’s revenue to property taxes.
While supervisors may approve a lower tax rate, state law prevents local governments from approving a rate higher than advertised. Supervisors will host public hearings on the county’s proposed budget and the tax rate on March 30.