Counties across the state are finalizing decisions about their school and municipal budgets. Read about local outcomes below:
Rainbow Forest Lake -- a pretty, manmade, 12-acre body of water near Troutville -- will be drained because funds cannot be found to bring its dam up to code. State and county officials are sympathetic but say that they are not responsible for the needed upgrades. Rainbow Forest Lake residents are upset, fearing that their property values will be drained with the lake.
Read the story at The Roanoke Times....
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal government is pursuing additional measures to compel mortgage lenders to provide principal forgiveness for underwater homeowners if, after taking steps such as reducing the interest rate to as low as 2% and extending the loan term to 40 years, the homeowner still can't handle the financial hardship:
The revision under discussion would encourage lenders in more cases to reduce the loan balance, known as principal forgiveness. That would give underwater borrowers more incentive to keep paying. Some of those borrowers now feel that they owe so much more than the values of their homes that it makes no sense to make payments.
Orange County supervisors have decided to advertise a 6-cent increase, although they may ultimately pass a lower rate. Supervisors don't yet know how much funding the county will get from the state, and they can pass a rate less than advertised, but not higher without running a new advertisement.
County Administrator Julie Jordan's proposed budget gives the school system the same local contribution as last year, but state funding cuts have led the schools to eliminate 81.5 jobs. The county may need to provide more money for the schools.
The Front Royal Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to leave the current real estate tax rates -- 7 cents per $100 assessed value -- in place. Residents encouraged the Council to tap into the town's "rainy day fund" of about $6 million to balance the budget.
Read more in the Northern Virginia Daily....
Front Royal Mayor Eugene R. Tewalt wants to raise property taxes from 7 cents to 8.5 cents per $100 assessed value, despite the availability of general funds to balance the town's budget without an increase. He calls it a matter of policy -- taxes should rise every year to cover growing overhead costs so that large jumps can be avoided down the road.
Former Fork District Supervisor Matthew A. Tederick disagrees. "I don't want to see a tax increase," he said during Friday's meeting at the Town Hall. "I don't think it's warranted."
Read more at Northern Virginia Daily....
The Stafford County Board of Supervisors may advertise a real estate tax rate two cents less than what the county administrator has proposed.
The Budget and Finance Committee has recommended a tax rate of $1.12 per $100 of assessed value, up from the current 84-cent rate. The higher rate makesup for the recent drop seen in most property values, meaning average homeowners would not see an increase in their property tax bills if the rate is adopted.
Read more at The Free-Lance Star....
The Richmond City Council will likely rezone about 700 properties in Manchester -- hopefully helping the historic area develop according to the city's Downtown Master Plan. The affected area is bounded by Cowardin Avenue, the Hull Street commercial corridor, Commerce Road, the James River, and Maury Street.
At its meeting this week, the members of the Virginia Real Estate Board elected a new Chair and Vice Chair. The results...
- Chair: Byrl Taylor, GRI, from Long & Foster in White Stone
- Vice Chair: Scott Gaeser, CCIM, from Eagle Realty of Virginia in Glen Allen