City changing mechanism for property tax relief 

City Council will hold a work session with the Planning Commission this afternoon but before the joint session on transportation matters gets underway, there will be a second reading of an appropriation of $1.5 million in city funds to be used as grants to low- and middle-income property owners. 

This would replace the long-running program Charlottesville Housing Affordability Program (CHAP) that the city had been using to provide tax relief. Todd Divers is Charlottesville’s Commissioner of Revenue. 

“We’ve kind of scrambled to put together a program that I think is going to get us close to what we were doing,” Divers said. 

Divers said the previous tax relief program had been justified by the City Charter, but now a second avenue to justify the program will be used instead. 

“The Director of Social Services as the local Social Services board will be the official administrator of this program though I will be working in a cooperative agreement with her and we’ll still be effectively managing the program the way we always have,” Divers said. 

The move also allows the city to increase the threshold for eligibility for participation to a home value of $420,000, which is the average assessed value of a residential parcel in the city. The income threshold will be increased to $60,000. 

“This a grant program,” Divers said. “This is a grant for needy folks and the way that we are defining that is folks who make less than $60,000 a year and who own a home in the city of Charlottesville.”

Divers said he estimates an additional 100 people will be eligible. The second reading is being held today to speed up the process to allow the process moving forward for this year. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the May 24, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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