Montgomery County approves new tax rate, budget

The Board of Supervisors approved a new tax rate of $0.70 per $100 of assessed value

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors approved a new real-estate property tax rate along with their budget.

During the board’s meeting on Monday, there was a lengthy discussion regarding a new tax rate. When budget discussions first began, County Administrator Craig Meadows proposed a new tax rate of $0.73 per $100 of assessed value. Currently, the rate is $.89 per $100 assessed value.

Several localities across Virginia are lowering their tax rates as the reassessment of homes is increasing. The decrease in taxes is intended to offset what would have been an increase in taxes spent on the real estate property.

Some of the board members wanted to go further than $0.73. Darrell Sheppard along with some of his colleagues proposed a $0.70 rate to help residents who are pinched by rising costs and inflation.

“Everything keeps going up and they can’t afford to live here, so they’re going to leave. Is that what we want,” Sheppard said.

Those in favor of the newly proposed tax rate faced criticism from other supervisors.

“If we approve a budget at $.70, we’re going backward,” Sara Bohn said.

One of the adverse effects of the new tax rate is cutting parts of the proposed budget that can line up with the new rate. That’s an additional $1.3 million with the $.70 tax rate.

One of the big topics of conversation during budget discussions is funding for schools. With a $.73 tax rate, schools would only be getting $4 million of the $6.1 million they were asking for from the county.

Now with the new rate, schools are one area that could see even more money cut from what they’re asking for. Supervisor April DeMotts was very concerned with the idea of taking away more money from students and teachers.

“So our options are to take 1.3 million dollars more from the schools. Or risk the county’s credit and still take money from the schools. Sounds like two terrible options,” DeMotts said.

The concerns resonated with several of the speakers during the public address portion of Monday night’s meeting.

Montgomery County Schools will still get some additional funding, only it won’t be near as much as what they asked for initially. It will be up to the district and the school board to come up with how they use the money approved during the meeting Tuesday.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.