The Roanoke appraisal firm hired by Floyd County Supervisors to reassess property for tax purposes left little doubt this week that assessments will go up, even if the real estate market is going down.
My story about the presentation to the county board of supervisors is in today’s Floyd Press. The news is not good for residents who are already scrambling for ways to pay their bills.
Call it a case of reverse supply and demand. The increasing cost of government, coupled with declining funds from state and federal sources, demands that the county find a cash supply from other places.
That means us and it’s pay to play time in Floyd County.
It works like this. Wingate and Associates — the Roanoke firm run by appraisal dean Harold Wingate — looks not only at what property is selling for in the current depressed market but also what it sold for at this time last year, before the market went south. He can look at what the market demanded since the last tax assessment in 2004 and some property over the past five years has sold for $10,000 an acre or more during that period.
This means that while your chances of selling land now for anywhere near what it might have brought 12 or 18 months ago is about the same as the emergence if actual bipartisanship in Congress you can — and most likely will — be taxed as though you could.
Assessments can — and most likely will — be weighted towards the high end of market value since the last accounting.
It may not be fair but — under current Virginia law — it’s legal and it means another hit on the beleagured taxpayers of Floyd County.