LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DISCUSS TAX REBATE
LOUISA, VIRGINIA – High market values of homes across the country have generated questions surrounding significant increases in 2023 real estate assessments. Though Louisa County offers one of the lowest real estate tax rates and the lowest personal property tax rate in the surrounding area, the Board of Supervisors and staff have worked diligently on a proposed plan to reduce real estate property taxes. At the April 3, 2023 budget public hearing, Deputy County Administrator, Wanda Colvin presented nearly $3 million of budget cuts. If adopted, the reductions would result in a 5% real estate tax rebate equal to lowering the tax rate from $0.72 to $0.69 per $100 of assessed value.
Per state law, the County Assessor’s Office assesses homes at 100% of fair market value and following the assessment process each year, the Board sets the tax rate. The Board is currently awaiting adoption of the state budget before taking final action, but is committed to meeting citizen needs with a fiscally prudent approach. Last year the Board reduced personal property taxes in a comparable process to reduce impacts on constituents.
Real estate taxes are a primary funding source for essential local services and community programs. Similar to previous years, education accounts for 61% of the proposed operations budget. Public safety accounts for 14% and health and welfare account for 9%.
Inflation and unfunded state mandates were a significant driver in the increased budget requests from departments and outside agencies that rely on County funding. “There are a number of items on this list that have nothing to do with us. There are unfunded mandates by the state,” Supervisor Eric Purcell commented at a budget work session. “This is not just a Louisa County Board of Supervisors spending spree.” Despite the rising expense of labor and goods that impact costs to provide community programs and services, the Board’s Finance Committee worked with staff to bring the total proposed operational budget down to $147.9 million. While some of the items removed from the upcoming year’s budget may need to be added back in future years, the proposed budget cuts will not impact the basic services citizens depend on from the County.
“The Board understands the challenges our citizens face in this economic climate,” said Supervisor Fitzgerald Barnes. “We’re listening, we care, and this budget reflects our efforts to control costs while meeting our community’s needs.”