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Charlottesville weighs tax increases for real estate, meals – NBC 29

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Taxes in Charlottesville could be on the rise — some more than others — as city council works to fund key projects and priorities.

Attention so far this budget cycle has been on the real estate tax rate, which councilors can raise by up to 10 cents. The possible increase in real estate taxes in the city was due in large part to a need to fund school reconfiguration renovations at Buford Middle School.

But because assessments went up nearly 12%, councilors have cooled off on raising the rate by the full dime, perhaps eyeing a lesser increase.

”I’m not opposed to them but I am concerned of adding tax rates on top of existing assessments,” said Councilor Brian Pinkston. “That seems really tone-deaf.”

Fellow Councilor Michael Payne added “I think if you’re talking about a 10 cent real estate tax increase in one year, I just don’t think that’s good public policy.”

Councilor Sena Magill floated the idea of staggering the raise.

“There’s too many things that are coming due and I think it would be easier if we did two cents this year and two cents next year versus four or five cents next year,” said Magil.

While Charlottesvillians could be paying less than the city advertised in real estate taxes, they could be paying more for meals. A proposed 0.5% increase would net the city about $1.2 million.

“That keeps us in the average range, that by far virtually the great majority of cities are [in] – between 6-6.5%,” said Mayor Lloyd Snook.

One day after Albemarle County discussed lowering the personal property tax rate because of inflated car values, the city may not be on board.

“Let’s put them at a place where we are comfortable with,” said Snook. “Let’s leave them there. And some years that will result in something of a windfall to the city, some years it means we don’t.”

Council’s discussion allows it to hold public hearings on these tax rate changes on March 21.

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