Fluvanna Review

Swinging up and down throughout the years, Fluvanna’s real estate tax rate can be hard to follow. Currently set at 89.9 cents per $100 valuation, the rate was as low as 43 cents a mere eight years ago – and as high as 90 cents in 1980.
A quick look at the tax rate’s history only befuddles the issue. In 2013 the rate flew to 79.5 cents from 59.81 cents – yet somehow delivered a 2.3 percent tax cut to Fluvanna landowners. And in 2002 the rate dropped to 64 cents from 71 cents – yet hiked taxes by 10.3 percent. In 1994 taxes held steady at 63 cents from the preceding year – but landowners paid a whopping 25.5 percent more.
How then can residents ever hope to have an accurate understanding of Fluvanna’s tax rate history?
Reassessments
Throwing a wrench into the works of any straightforward analysis is the issue of reassessments.
The amount of real estate taxes landowners pay depends upon the value of their land – and any improvements they own, such as houses or barns. But property values change all the time.
State code requires that localities of Fluvanna’s population reassess land and home values every six years, though they are free to reassess more frequently, said Mel Sheridan, Fluvanna County commissioner of the revenue. And when counties reassess they must determine and publicize what’s called an “equalized rate.”
Without an equalized rate, if land values were to increase after a reassessment and the tax rate were to stay the same as the previous year, the county would suddenly collect more tax revenue. Likewise, if land values decreased after a reassessment and the tax rate remained the same, the county would receive less tax revenue.
While county governments are certainly free to raise and lower taxes, state code requires them to be explicit when it comes to reassessments. Counties can’t directly raise or lower taxes through adjusted property values. Instead, after a reassessment counties must publish the equalized rate – the tax rate that brings in the same amount of revenue as the previous year. If property values increase, the equalized rate must offset that difference by decreasing. If property values decrease, the equalized rate increases.
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David MooreAt the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association meeting Thursday (May 24) the board welcomed a new finance director, decided on how to handle deer and heard about how to protest the proposed Aqua Virginia rate hike.

Association General Manager Catherine Neelley introduced the new Finance Director David Moore. Moore is a Lake resident.

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Peg Redd's artwork

Eight area artists will be participating in the upcoming Second Annual Artist’s Studio Tour to benefit the Fluvanna County Historical Society on June 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Historical Society is sponsoring a studio tour to raise money for the Endowment Fund while promoting Fluvanna’s artists.
New to the tour this year are longer hours to allow visitors to reach every studio. Add a comment

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Michael A. Hicks, 70, of Palmyra, was killed in a two-car accident on Saturday, May 2, at 9:36 a.m. on Rt. 600, less than one mile north of Rt. 618 in Fluvanna County, according to Virginia State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
Hicks was driving a 1994 Ford F -150 pickup truck heading south on Rt. 600 when his vehicle crossed the center line and struck a north bound 2004 Ford Explorer head-on.
The driver of the Explorer was transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville with serious injuries. Hicks died at the scene.
According to Fluvanna County Sheriff Eric Hess, this was the first fatal automobile accident of 2015 in Fluvanna County.
Rt. 600 was closed for several hours while state police conducted an accident investigation.

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Candidates Page Gifford, Dick Cummings and Charles Harrelson stood at the meeting where election results were announced. Charles Harrelson and Dick Cummings were elected as directors of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association, the LMOA announced Saturday (June 30).

The LMOA oversees the huge Lake Monticello subdivision in Fluvanna County.

Harrelson, a retired businessman, garnered 811 votes. Cummings, a retired CPA, got 810 votes. Page Gifford, a freelance writer and community volunteer, received 430 votes.

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