Current Virginia Beach property tax assessments lack good judgment

Current rising real estate tax assessments should be a concern to all Virginia residents where the property values have risen at a high rate. This is a major concern here in Thalia where property assessments have risen a “whopping” 300 to 400% on the average since I bought my home here in 1985. 

For those of you who consider your current dwelling your "permanent" home, those high assessments are not good news. However, the assessments are not your real enemy when it comes to property tax. The real enemy is your city council and mayor. 

The Virginia state legislature has provided that your overall property tax cannot go up more than 1 percent per year. As you would expect, there are loopholes. The loophole that the city council and mayor is now using is the one that allows them to vote and override the 1 percent increase after the budget has been voted on by voting to assess taxes at any new reassessed property values. This loophole is supposed to be used only as an "exception." 

This is not an isolated community only problem. It is a major State and Virginia Beach problem. This practice used by our city council and mayor has potentially put many residents out of the homes they worked their entire lives to be able to afford and live in until they die. 

With the amount of natural turnover in home sales, new construction, and remodeling, the tax base is continually going up anyway. The state intended to protect its citizens from undue tax increases on their homes but that fact has been lost by our city council and mayor.   

We should ask and demand that our State Legislators close the tax loophole being used by our city council and mayor to unfairly tax “permanent” homeowners.  It is our responsibility to make the city council and mayor represent our interests within the intent and spirit of the law. If we do nothing, expect nothing in return. 

Reginald S. Early - Virginia Beach