Henrico Board of Supervisors introduce real estate tax credit

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:22 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:12 PM EST
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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Tax relief could be coming to Henrico County homeowners and commercial business owners as soon as March.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors introduced a plan for real estate tax credit and a tax rate reduction for homes and commercial businesses.

It’s being called the “2+2″ plan. County leaders said it was proposed as a result of what is going on with inflation and its impact on families.

“I’ve just had to spend my money and cut in other ways,” said Jerry Peay, of Henrico. “Utilities are going up tremendously.”

Peay said he’s had to make changes in his life to deal with the rise in costs. Upon hearing about the “2+2″ plan, he says he’s all for it.

“We know that your home prices are going up, and your assessed prices have to go up as well,” said Sheila Minor, the Henrico Director of Finance. “So, we’re providing some relief for that.”

“Use the money for other things as far as upgrading their homes,” Peay said. “I think it’s an excellent idea, maybe the other counties should implement the same idea.”

With the Board of Supervisors’ approval, Henrico would become the first locality in the state to return surplus real estate taxes to property owners under a 2005 state law. A public hearing on the real estate tax credit is scheduled for Feb. 22.

The county will determine the amount based on Feb. 1, 2022, assessment numbers. Letters are expected to be sent to homeowners and commercial business owners starting in February.

“We’re going to take that assessed value and multiple it by 2 cents per $100,” Minor said. “So, divide that number by 100 and multiply it by .02.”

For example, if your home has an average assessed value of $300,000, you would get a credit of $60.

However, if the amount is $30 or less, that credit would go towards your real estate tax bill.

“For property owners who owe delinquent taxes, the credit would be applied to the outstanding balance and to any future bills if the credit exceeds the current amount due,” a news release said.

“One of the board members brought up, let’s make sure that the rebate that we send out actually is meaningful,” said Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas.

“This is good for people who are of a certain income - the low-income folk, big impact,” Peay added.

However, not everyone is apparently on board with the tax credit.

One woman commented on social media saying she would like to see the money used towards schools.

“Everything on the capital side is funded, pay increases have been taken care of, the schools are fully funded - the reality is this money needs to go back to our residents,” Vithoulkas said.

Another man commented, saying the ‘overdevelopment” in Henrico is the reason why assessments have spiked.

“Our population is growing by less than 1% a year,” Vithoulkas said. “So, the development we have is managed; our school system population is flat.”

If approved by the Board of Supervisors, check would be sent to residents in March.

Meanwhile, the board is also considering a 2-cent real estate tax rate reduction for its 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Currently, the tax rate is 87 cents. If approved, the 85-cent rate would be reflected on real estate tax bills issued in April and October.

“By cutting the rate, Henrico would forgo $10 million in revenue that otherwise would have been collected,” a news release said. “With an additional $10 million returned to taxpayers via the credit, the combined tax relief offered through the 2+2 proposal would total $20 million.”

The Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the upcoming budget in March.

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