Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Spotsy to appeal assessment ruling

Spotsylvania County will appeal a recent ruling that it must refund more than $200,000 in real-estate taxes to a commercial property owner.

After meeting in closed session late Tuesday night, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to appeal the case to the Virginia Supreme Court.

An affiliate of Washington-based Bernstein Management filed a lawsuit against the county in June 2010, claiming the former Capital One building at 10300 Spotsylvania Ave. was assessed well above market value.

The building near Interstate 95 south of Four-Mile Fork has struggled to attract tenants over the years.

Circuit Court Judge David Beck signed a court order this week that reduces the property’s assessed value from about $20.3 million to 12.8 million in 2008 and 2009, and from $20.3 million to about $14 million in 2010 and 2011.

That’s a difference of about $27.6 million. Based on the tax rates at the time—62 cents for the first two years and 86 cents for the next two—the county owes Bernstein $201,202.

Supervisors had to respond quickly because the court order required the county to pay back the taxes with interest by March 29.

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