Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Assessment appeals: Please, city, raise mine!

Around this time in 2007 (the last reassessment year in Fredericksburg), roughly 400 city property owners had called the real estate office in City Hall to set up a time to contest their assessment with Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal Co.

Well, things are a little slower this year. Marilla Haas, who works in the real estate office, said only about 60 appointments have been set up so far, and that call volume has been remarkably light.

Just in case you need a reminder, here’s the stark difference between now and 2007:

2009: Total taxable value of city property declines 12.7 percent.

2007: Total taxable value of city property increases 114 percent.

Also worth noting:

- This year, Haas said, most of the calls have come from commercial property owners. Commercial property values held relatively steady in the reassessment, and this will mean that commercial property owners will be the ones paying most of the tax increase the City Council wants off the real estate tax. Even with the proposed rate of 70.5 cents, which is set up to bring in $1.6 million in new real estate revenue next year, many homeowners would see a tax break. Keep in mind that you can publicly comment on the proposed tax rate on June 9 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall.

- Haas said very few homeowners have called City Hall wanting to contest their assessments, but many of those who have actually want their values raised, in order to refinance their homes.

Don’t forget that Friday is the last day to call the real estate office at 540/372-1207 to set up an appointment to appeal your assessment with Blue Ridge. Pick up tomorrow’s paper for more on assessments.