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Updated 05/29/09 -  Letters to the Editor 

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Subject: Increase in Real Estate Tax in 2010


Within the last few weeks Hanover property owners received their 2009 real estate tax bills.  For about 15% of us, the tax was increased and for about 10% the tax was lowered; the balance of the county had no change.  Many continue to ask, "How could this be in a falling real estate market?"

The vast majority of the properties that had no change in assessment in fact had a lower fair market value. So my fellow citizens, why do you continue to pay too much tax when your cost of living is going thru the roof.  Food, fuel, health insurance, clothing, utility bills, other taxes and fees all continue to increase.   If this question has you confused, try this one: "How will the county raise even more money in 2010 on increased property assessments?" 

The fact is that the recently approved county budget calls for a 0.8% increase in revenue from reassessments in 2010.  The falling revenues for the federal and state governments will mean shortfalls for the county; therefore, while the county will not cut spending and revenues will drop, this will equal more tax increases. 

Every report verifies that property values will continue to decline.  What magic will the county use to extract more taxes from you?  It is called "spot assessing!"  In past times if this were applied in the science of accounting, it would be called fraud.

If you agree that taxes are levied unequally and you are paying the bill, why do you not get reasonable explanations for these confusing events?   No one seems responsible.  The "autopilot" causes the ever higher tax and spend trend. 

The House of Delegates Republican Primary will be held on June 9th?  Have you asked the candidates how they will help influence reform in the property tax system problems? Have you asked them how they intend to make your government work for you? I have asked for help from the existing elected officials on the county and state level and I still wait for answers.  

Call them today for answers.  Can you be more effective than I and countless others?  Have you tried getting good information from any other "official source"? 

If you want to get some straight facts, come out on June 11 to the Bass Pro Shops conference room to a "Fact Forum" from 7pm-8:15pm. 

Carpe Diem, Patriots for Liberty!

Oscar Walker

Hanover County


Teachers first to go due to real estate value rip off.

Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico County couldnít find any one to cut except the teachers. Couldnít any of them conclude that they donít need the Assessorís offices anymore?  Now that we know the whole housing frenzy was just a scam and rip-off, whatís left for them to do?

 I think now your house should be worth what you paid for it and what you paid for yours has nothing to do with your neighborís house value. When your neighbor sells his house, we will now know what it is worth and again it does not make his neighbors house worth what he sold his for.

We donít need the assessorís office. The appraisers were just proven wrong tens of thousands of times in their guesstimates and therefore no longer needed. They can get a job as appraisal/realtors; they can appraise a house for more than itís worth, sell it for more than itís worth and keep all the profit and anyone fool enough to buy it can pay the taxes.

I guess it is safe to assume that the assessorís office is an important department for all the counties leaders after seeing their salaries published in the newspaper. Some of these salaries were up $20,000 + over the last two years and all due to each one being told they are worth more than their counterpart in the other counties. Did you hear the one about the golfer who found he wasnít as good when someone else kept score?

Unlike the taxpayer our Government and employees have no side effects of a recession? They have no lay offs, they still get their fabulous salaries, retirement, health, vacation and holidays. Is the American dream only for a few? Why canít the taxpayers at least participate in the retirement and insurance plan since they are the ones paying for it all?

Ted Mentz

This letter was originally printed on 2/17/09 in the Mechanicsville Local:
Wouldn't you think that when one parcel of land in Hanover is reassessed that all are reassessed?  It's not that way at all.  Only a portion of the county gets reassessment notices each year since the county is "spot" assessing. 
I got a raise in reassessment in 2007 and I just got another increase for 2009 - all without any additions to my home or land. 
There are over 43,000 parcels of land in Hanover but reassessment notices were only sent last month to the owners of approximately 10,000 parcels...or 23% of the county.
Out of those 10,000, I was told that 6,000 parcels were raised in value and 4,000 were reduced in value based on sales in 2007.   Sales in 2007?!?!  Yep!  2007.  But with the economic downturn/recession/depression (take your pick) that we have been in for a couple of years and which continues to progressively worsen, I wonder how anyone's real estate assessment can be raised at all.     
We owners of those 6,000 parcels will now have to reach deep into our pockets to pay more in taxes this year, but if my property reassessment went up, why didn't everyone's?
While I have been researching this and looking thru the proposed changes on the Assessor's web page, I found that not one Board of Supervisor member got an increase this year.  I guess they live in the right "spot" and I live in the wrong one.
I hope everyone who got an increase files for a Board of Equalization hearing (it's free).  The Assessor's office has the forms and they are also on his web page.  I would be glad to hear from anyone who would like to discuss this.  Just email me at
"Spot" assessing has to stop.  It's unfair, too subjective and leads to unfair taxation.
Betty "BJ" Ostergren





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