The release of Charlottesville’s property tax assessment for 2022 have given budget staff a clearer picture of how much additional tax revenue will come in due to the assessments. That will provide more clarity on a potential increase in the real estate tax rate to cover a capital improvement program that will include $75 million for school reconfiguration, more funding for affordable housing, and other increases that have been sanctioned by the most recent City Council prior to this one.
Before we go too far with that, a subcommittee of the House of Delegates’ Finance Committee has recommended denial of a bill from Delegate Sally Hudson (D-57) that would allow Charlottesville to hold a referendum on a one-percent sales tax increase. (HB545) They also recommended “laying on the table” for another bill that would have allowed all localities to do so (HB531). Both votes were on party lines. More General Assembly updates in a moment.
The annual reassessment of property in Charlottesville is complete, and over 95 percent of residential property increased this year. In all, there are 15,164 taxable parcels in the city, and the overall increase for 2022 is 10.77 percent.
The overall average increase for residential property is 11.69 percent, with only 1.37 percent decreasing in value and 2.77 percent staying the same.
Weldon Cooper releases population estimates
The communities that make up the Thomas Jefferson Planning District have grown by an average of 12.8 percent since the 2010 Census according to the latest population estimates from the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia. This time around they are making an adjustment based on what they see as an undercount in the 2020 U.S. Census.
“Localities with relatively large college populations, including some Virginia localities, were often undercounted in the April 1st, 2020 Census Count,” reads a disclaimer on the website. “We have benchmarked the 2020 and 2021 population estimates on the Weldon Cooper Center estimates instead of the 2020 Census count for localities with populations that are comprised of over 20 percent college students.”
The first Charlottesville City Council retreat held during the virtual era era took place yesterday, and the morning session served a last-minute tune-up before the budget season for FY23 begins in February (view the presentation).
Let’s hear from Krisy Hammil, the city’s senior budget analyst about where we are in the process.
“In January and in February, we’re continuing to work on developing the budget, balancing it, and trying to figure out what our revenue forecast will look like,” Hammill said. “And then in February, we have to advertise our tax rate.”
Where do buildings go when they are demolished? In some cases, removed concrete ends up being buried underground. In recent years, Albemarle County changed its rules to make it more difficult to do so. Now the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority is considering using an unused portion of the Ivy Landfill to accept some of the material.
“We’ve been approached three times in the last about 12 months by some regional and local large construction firms [such as] Faulconer Construction, Curtis Construction, and they’ve been looking to find a solution for disposing of clean fill from some large projects,” said Phil McKalips, the solid waste manager at the RWSA.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is investigating a petroleum seep that is affecting an unnamed tributary of Moores Creek, according to the city of Charlottesville.
“The suspected responsible party, Charlottesville Tire & Auto, is working with DEQ to mitigate the impact to the tributary,” reads a press release. “A subsurface investigation to confirm the source of the release is ongoing.”
Albemarle County is offering a one-time bonus to property owners to take on tenants whose rent will be subsidized through the Housing Choice Voucher program.
“[The Albemarle County Office of Housing] currently has between 15 to 20 clients with vouchers who will be seeking apartments starting February 1,” reads a press release for the Bonus Bucks program.
The redistricting process in Albemarle County got underway last night with an information session on how it will work out. Guidelines require magisterial districts to be contained with Virginia’s legislative and Congressional lines. Under the new maps approved in late December by the Virginia Supreme Court, Albemarle falls entirely within the new 11th Senate District.
“Albemarle County falls into two different Virginia House of Delegates districts, the 54th which is basically the urban ring around the city of Charlottesville and then the 55th which is the majority of the county,” said Anthony Bessette, the Senior Assistant County Attorney.
Since 2007, Charlottesville has had an affordable housing fund to help create and preserve affordable housing units. Today they’ve begun the process of soliciting proposals for how to use $750,000 from the current fiscal year’s capital budget. The notice for funding availability (NOFA) refers to the affordable housing plan adopted by Council last March.
“This Plan recommends that the City make a strong and recurring financial commitment to address housing needs in Charlottesville in order to increase the number of subsidized affordable homes by 1,100 homes, preserve existing 600 existing subdidized affordable homes, and stabilize 1,800 to 2,000 owner and renter households facing housing instability,” reads the application.
At last night’s meeting of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, one Commission noted that there is a great deal of unpaid rent on the agency’s books.
“We have roughly a third of our public housing residents not paying their rent,” said John Sales, the CRHA’s executive director.