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Botetourt County neighbors ask leaders to reconsider tax rates

(WDBJ)
Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 6:40 PM EDT
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Neighbors in Botetourt County are asking leaders to reconsider the county's real estate tax rate for this upcoming fiscal year.

This comes after a recent real estate reassessment increased people's property values by an average of nine percent.

Richard Donnelly has lived in Botetourt County for five years. His family, like many, is now navigating a new normal during this coronavirus pandemic.

“I am used to going out and working but I’ve essentially been laid off for the last month and with really no end in sight,” Donnelly said. “So we are in this limbo and a lot of other citizens are in the same place.”

That’s why he is one of several homeowners asking the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors to consider adjusting the real estate tax rate this year.

“This year is a terrible year to raise taxes and the county shouldn’t be doing it,” Donnelly said.

Although the tax rate is not changing, a recent real estate reassessment increased people's property values by an average of nine percent. That means even though the rate is still 79 cents to the dollar, people will be paying more than in years past.

“We are trying to be as open as we can be about this and certainly as fair as we can be when it comes to the budget,” Board of Supervisor Member Richard Bailey said.

That’s why the Board has not yet approved its budget and tax rates for the upcoming fiscal year. Instead, they are continuing their discussions considering things like lowering the real estate tax rate or the property tax rate to help as everyone navigates this tough time.

“It’s certainly created a new game and a new challenge. With that being said, we are going back and we are revisiting our original thoughts about the tax rate, and I think that debate is ongoing at this point,” Bailey said.

The budget subcommittee will continue to meet regularly until a final decision is made, which could come as late as their June meeting.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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