News Column

Tax revenues expected to stay steady

February 1, 2014

By John R. Crane, Danville Register & Bee, Va.

Feb. 01 -- CHATHAM -- Pittsylvania County's projected tax revenues are expected to remain steady in 2014-15, with no large fluctuations in dollars taken in from real estate and personal property taxes, according to the county's finance director. The county anticipates taking in about $21.1 million in real estate taxes and about $5.8 million in personal property taxes next fiscal year, said Kim Van Der Hyde . The figures will probably change very little from this year's projected revenues -- $6.1 million from personal property and $21.2 million from real estate. "It's going to be pretty stable, not a big increase and it's not going to go down either," Van Der Hyde said Friday. Pittsylvania County's personal property tax rate -- which applies to automobiles -- is $8.75 per $100 of assessed value, collected at 30 percent of that value. Its real estate tax rate is 56 cents per $100 of assessed value. Collected money goes into the county's general fund, which pays for the county's operations including its departments, landfill operations, local share for schools, local share for the department of social services and local share for constitutional offices (sheriff's office, commissioner of revenue, clerk of court, treasurer and commonwealth's attorney offices). Pittsylvania County's 2013-14 budget is about $180.9 million . As for real estate, the county received a preliminary figure Jan. 24 from its 2014 re-assessment, Van Der Hyde said. The re-assessment, conducted by Roanoke -based Wingate & Associates , estimated land in the county at about $4.42 billion , a 3-percent increase over the county's taxable value in calendar 2013, which was about $4.26 billion . However, that will not necessarily translate into a 3-percent increase in real-estate tax revenue, Van Der Hyde said. The figures do not account for deferred value under the land-use program or cases involving residents who appeal their assessments to the Board of Equalization , Van Der Hyde said. The increase in assessed value was smaller than those from years past due to the recession, with the slight rise attributed to residents remodeling and expanding existing homes, as opposed to new-home construction, said Harold Wingate , president of Wingate & Associates . "This recession period has slowed things down," Wingate said. To estimate real-estate value, Wingate analyzed county-wide sales in 2012 and 2013 and looked at sales by community within Pittsylvania County , and considered these sales while making the assessments, Wingate said. The county's total debt as of this year is about $159.7 million , with school-bond debt making up about $129.4 million , Van Der Hyde said. About $70 million of that is from renovation of the county's four high schools, with $50 million expected to be paid off by 2030, Van Der Hyde said. The remaining $20 million would be financed by literary-loan money -- state money set aside for school construction projects. The $43 million project involving construction of the county's four middle schools will be paid off in 2023. The elementary school project -- which entailed construction of Twin Springs and Gretna elementary schools and renovations at others -- will be paid off in July 2014 , Van Der Hyde said. ___ (c)2014 the Danville Register & Bee (Danville, Va.) Visit the Danville Register & Bee (Danville, Va.) at www2.godanriver.com Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Danville Register & Bee (VA)


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