Home prices dropping in Hanover County

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

HANOVER COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Hanover County homeowners are concerned, as the value of their properties continue to fall.

It's not just homeowners feeling the loss. The county will lose an estimated $4 million in lost tax revenue. Property taxes pay for the vast majority of funding for local schools, police and fire. The county says it's money it desperately needs.

The most recent assessment shows about a four percent decrease in real estate values. Homeowners like Terrence Keys say it's painful looking at the value of his home drop.

"It's getting bad," he said. "It's gotten pretty bad over the last few months."

And it's not just Terrence that's hurting. Local government will see a big chunk of its annual funding shrink with the decreasing home values.

Debbie Winans is the on the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. She says real estate tax is its bread and butter for funding essential services.

"It puts us in a bad spot," she said. "We have no other way to raise money."

The good news is the Board of Supervisors isn't planning any hikes in the property taxes. The bad news is the lost money will have to come out of somewhere. County officials are not sure what they're going to have to cut and say they are already down to the essential services.

Other communities have had to cut back on schools and police funding. Hanover County officials say they're not there yet, but they're not sure what's going to happen unless economic conditions improve.

People in Hanover County say they don't want to see essential services on the chopping block.

"I don't think anyone wants to see less firemen, wants to see less police officers on the street, obviously they keep us safe," he said.  "I understand everyone has had to do some belt tightening."

25,000 homes were looked at during the reassessment. All those homes, as a whole, lost more than $500 million in value.

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