Good news! The exact number is not official, but Prince William County’s real estate property tax rate is going down next fiscal year. The 2013 real estate tax rate is $1.209 per $100 of assessed value, while the advertised real estate tax rate for the FY 2014 Budget is $1.196 per $100 of assessed value. Now, here’s the bad news…even though next year’s tax rate will certainly be lower than the current one, Prince William County real estate owners will still see their tax bill rise. Insidenova.com reports:
The average (fiscal year 2014) tax bill would increase just over 3.5 percent, because of increases in real estate assessments.
Every year, the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors votes to set a tax rate that allows a basis for public discussion, and establishes a maximum limit for the final tax rate. It is called the advertised rate and is a Commonwealth requirement. Once the advertised real estate tax rate is passed, a date is set for public feedback before the supervisors vote on a final fiscal tax rate that is the basis for county budgets. The rate for the final budget cannot be higher than the advertised rate (proposed for FY2014, $1.196 per $100 of assessed value), but it may be lower.
This year’s vote on the advertised rate was a bit contentious (it took supervisors five votes before it passed) and was lower than the rate County Executive Melissa Peacor and County Public Schools Superintendent Steven Walts based their FY 2014 county and school budgets. Both officials drafted budgets based on a tax rate of $1.201 per $100 of assessed value and and an average tax bill increase of 4 percent. The gap between the advertised rate and the rate these two based their budgets on, will surely mean more cuts are to come in their proposed budgets.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013: Supervisors will adopt a final real estate tax rate, budget and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
According to a PWC press release: “the hearing provides citizens an opportunity to voice their positions on the advertised tax rate and the FY2014 Budget. Citizens are encouraged to participate and speak on their position with regard to the budget.”
What do you think? Remember, Prince William County real estate taxes are lower than those in surrounding counties. Have you seen Superintendent Walts proposed budget? Any opinions on how he should make further cuts in next year’s budget? Will you attend the public hearing on April 9?