Botetourt County offers real estate tax relief in 2021 budget

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) -Botetourt County is getting creative with its budget this year to help bring some financial relief to neighbors in its community

“Foremost in our minds was flexibility and tax relief,” Stephen Clinton with the County Board of Supervisors said.

The Board of Supervisors approved its 2021 Fiscal Year Budget Tuesday, adding Real Estate Tax Relief to the package.

“We understand people are hurting and we are taking care of that, trying to the best that we can on a local level in Botetourt,” County Administrator Gary Larrowe said.

The Real Estate Tax Relief will drop the county’s real estate tax rate by 5 cents, from a 79-cent rate to a 74-cent rate.

This comes after a recent real estate reassessment increased people’s property value on average by nine percent and would have meant most homeowners would have paid more in taxes this year.

“The nine percent is a fair number in terms of the economic growth and the overall growth and evaluations in Botetourt,” Clinton said. “But we could all suffer if we didn’t change the rate that converts that to a tax.”

The Board said this one-time rate decrease will offset those property revaluations and bring some relief to homeowners during the pandemic.

“It will absolutely make a difference that they are actually getting a little bit of relief and at the same time they would still be receiving the services,” Larrowe said.

The county cannot offer direct tax rebates, so it will be partnering with Virginia Community Capital, a non-profit Bank and Community Development Financial Institution, to process the money.

The county will pay VCC a $2.3 million grant as a voluntary donation to be used as emergency relief for Botetourt property owners.

VCC will then pay that grant back to the Botetourt Treasurer as a “Tax Relief Donation” that will then be spread across the real estate parcels for COVID-19 tax relief.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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