The Washington Post reports, although our real estate taxes will decrease, this is not necessarily good news. Our home values have dropped an average of 30% and apparently we should not expect a recovery to begin until 2013. What I am wondering is where are all these savings that Chairman Stewart promised us? He has put our county through hell and what does he have to show for it? Where
‘s the beef? Not just, gee, Greg tells me his neighborhood looks less Latino, but real concrete factual budgetary numbers! If he uses the drop in ESOL as his basis, well, then, I want him to explain where these families lived? Is the exodus of ESOL contributing to our astronomical foreclosure rates? The 11 million we wasted on the anti illegal immigration resolution should would have come in handy right about now, especially considering, it accounts for almost HALF of our budget shortfall. But hey, who cares about people having to pay for their own ambulance ride or county employees being laid off.
Prince William County residents will probably see a decrease in their property tax bills next year.
The Board of County Supervisors agreed at its budget retreat last week that it wanted county staff members to prepare a budget with a tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of assessed value. That would be an increase from the current 97-cent rate, but because home values have decreased so sharply, the average homeowner’s bill would still fall 18 percent.
The rate may go lower but cannot go higher if the board agrees to the budget proposal, as expected, at its next meeting Nov. 18.
“It’s not terribly realistic to expect homeowners to pay more in their tax bill with the degree of economic uncertainty we are facing,” County Executive Craig S. Gerhart said.
Even at the $1.13 tax rate, the county would have to cut $26 million from school and county spending to close an anticipated $190 million gap in the coming budget year.
Although home sales have surged in Prince William, it faces hard economic times because home values have decreased 30 percent in the past year. The county projects that the housing market won’t recover until 2013.
“Prince William County has lost more value at a faster pace than the rest of Northern Virginia,” said Christopher E. Martino, the county’s finance director. “We are going to overcorrect before we come back up and stabilize.”