Misleading property tax letter in Henrico

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We have a warning if you live in Henrico County. You might be getting a letter about your property tax assessment. The note is not from the county but from a private company.

It asks you to pay money for information on how to appeal your assessment.

Officials said that's not necessary.

What this company is doing is not illegal, but Henrico County said it is misleading. Henrico residents don't have to dole out big bucks to appeal.

The ad explained you can pay just $99 to possibly get back hundreds of dollars from the county because of inflated property tax assessments.

"I would be very skeptical of it," Henrico resident Ann Gregory said. "I think whenever they ask for money, you know, you really have to look at things."

Henrico Real Estate Assessment Director Thomas Little said residents like Gregory should be doubtful.

The county has received a number of phone calls from people concerned they'd need the kind of package offered in order to request an appeal. It has all sorts of facts and figures and offers an easy solution.

"We don't want people to spend money if they don't have to," Little said.

Several people in the Spring Tree neighborhood got the letter but the county said at this point it's tough to tell where it was received and how many people paid the money.

Little doesn't want people to be scared into paying for something that's free!

"Henrico County is probably one of the easiest places in the state to appeal your assessment," Little explained. "There's no charge for the appeal. You don't have to fill out any paperwork if you're a homeowner. You simply need to call us or email us and tell us you're concerned about your assessment."

He said companies offering these services have always been out there but this is the first time he's seen this kind of mass mailing.

"It's very frustrating," Gregory told us. "Like I said, I think people take advantage."

Click here for more information. The deadline is April 2.

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