Assessment hearings complete

Published 10:47 pm Monday, April 7, 2014

Informal hearings with people disputing the reassessments of their property have concluded, and the number of property owners with disputes is down from previous years.

City Assessor Jean Jackson said about 170 hearings had been held, compared with more than 300 last year. Applications to take the dispute process further, to the Board of Equalization, are due May 1.

Overall, assessments in the city edged up 1.7 percent. The city manager’s proposed budget does not include a change in the real estate tax rate, which currently stands at $1.03 per $100 of assessed value.

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The commercial share of the city’s total assessed value continued to rise this year, indicating businesses are bearing more of the tax burden. The share for multi-family developments also rose, while the residential and agricultural shares went down.

Many increases and decreases in the average assessments are due to new construction and data gleaned from sales, Jackson said.

The neighborhood with the biggest increase in the average assessment — a whopping 183 percent — was North Broad Crossing, which was due to new construction.

Homes in Quaker Neck, both those with views of the water and those on the interior of the neighborhood, increased in value because of sales, Jackson said. Other areas that saw double-digit percentage increases because of sales included Cedar Point, Castlewood, Carolina Road, Ridgewood Village and Bennett’s Creek Landing.

Sales and new construction both contributed to assessment increases for duplexes near the Suffolk Fairgrounds site. New construction factored into increases in Meade Point, Parkside at Bennett’s Creek, Saddlebrook, King’s Fork Farms, and apartment complexes throughout the city with 12 or more units.

One area with a large decrease was Nansemond Parkway, which saw a drop of 25 percent due to evaluations of the properties to check for things like depreciation and assets like fencing that may have been removed, Jackson said.