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Spotsylvania residents urge supervisors to keep lid county taxes low
BY DAN TELVOCK
Even though they face as much as a 42 percent increase in their real-estate tax bills, Spotsylvania County business owners were largely absent from last night's public hearing on the fiscal year 2011 budget.
But some residents showed up to urge supervisors to keep taxes low.
Business owners will pay more in real-estate taxes because the 2010 assessments for commercial property increased three-tenths of a percent. With an equalized tax rate of 83 cents per $100 assessed value, a commercial property owner would pay $1,062 more for a building assessed at $500,000.
An equalized tax rate means the county will generate the same amount of revenue as it did this fiscal year.
If the rate approved is 88 cents, which is what supervisors advertised, businesses will pay 42 percent more.
Residential property assessments declined overall by 28.2 percent, and more than half of county residents will pay less or the same in real-estate taxes with an equalized rate. How much more those who did have increases in their residential assessments will pay depends on the rate supervisors approve later this month.
One man said his real-estate tax bill could increase at least $900 a year.
"That's absurd," he said.
Supervisors heard from more than 40 residents with a variety of requests and criticism, but a large group of speakers were against any tax increases in the budget.
A majority of the approximately 150 people in attendance applauded when a few speakers criticized the school system's budget. About 30 people wearing white T-shirts that said "Hold The Line" in red asked the board to keep taxes low.
Donna Williams, who has owned a cleaning business in the county for 25 years, said her company bid on janitorial services for some county schools. She said the school system instead chose a Tennessee company.
She said over the time of the contract, the school system will pay more than $1 million more than her bid. She said that money will not stay in Spotsylvania.
"That could equate to 20.2 teachers," she said. "They want to pay more to clean dirt than to educate our children."