People in Charlottesville Weigh in on Proposed Real Estate Tax Increase
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council is weighing a one-cent real estate tax increase to fund affordable housing efforts.
At council’s meeting on Monday, March 18, members of the public got a chance to weigh in on that proposal.
On Monday night, community members were at odds over the proposed real estate tax increase.
A one-cent increase per $100 of assessed home value would bring the tax rate up from 95 to 96 cents.
Some people voiced concerns that increasing the tax rate on top of the already increasing home valuations would be like raising taxes twice.
“In addition to all this crazy assessment, you're now looking to raise our taxes even more and it just seems like we're being doubly taxed and it doesn't seem like people are moving out, it seems like people are being pushed out,” Kimber Hawkey, who lives in Charlottesville, said.
Others say the positive impact the increased taxes will have on the city’s affordable housing crisis outweighs the added costs.
“The principal demographic that's leaving town is black and poor because they can’t afford it,” Jeff Fogel, who lives in Charlottesville, said.
Some advocates for the tax increase are asking councilors to find a way to raise the taxes for some people without allowing them to hurt people with low incomes.
“I encourage you to raise the real estate tax rate but only if and when that is coupled with robust tax abatement for the city's low-income population,” Aaron Winston, who lives in Charlottesville, said.
“An increase in the tax rate is unjust and inequitable,” Collette Hall, who lives in Charlottesville, said.
People also got the chance to weigh in on proposed one-cent increases in the city’s meals and lodging taxes, which would rise from 5 to 6 and 7 to 8 cents respectively.
Coming up at a work session on Tuesday night, councilors will once again address the proposed tax increases and the fiscal year 2020 budget.
That public event will take place at the Water Street Center from 6-8 pm.