No Frigging Way!

By Loudoun Insider

So I finally looked at my home’s assessment for this year.  AND IT WENT UP 8%!!!  Give me a frigging break.  How does this happen when the economy and housing (especially in western Loudoun) are still in the tank?Looks like I’ll get to experience that wonderful Board of Equalization this year.  This equates to a hefty tax increase for me this year if they end up anywhere above the current rate, which they are sure to do.  Nice. 


Let’s hear how other Loudoun assessments are going, and those from other counties as well.  If you’re from Loudoun, please post the general area so we can try to get a sense of what is happening where.


  • Greg L says:

    That big jump in tax rates along with your higher assessment is going to ensure that Loudoun County adequately addresses important issues such as global warming, creating green jobs, and ensuring long-awaited special benefits for the homosexual partners of county employees! Haven’t you any heart for the poor, downtrodden, and our deeply suffering mother earth which is gasping for relief at the unbearable pressures of humanity?

    [sarcasm off]

    This will make you feel a little better: inform McGinsey that there’s a thing called the “Voluntary Human Extinction Movement” and your higher taxes could fund her participation in that.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    My assessment remained the same, but if the BOS votes the rate up to $1.41 I get a tax increase.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    These kinds of stories tell me more about how completely antiquated and inadequate an ad valorem residential property tax is than anything else. This is a primitive, inequitable, expensive to administer tax. Just do away with it. Find a way to tax income and distribute it fairly for local public needs. I haven’t heard any intelligent discussion of this issue since Connaughton was politically active. Everyone is too afraid to think big thoughts on this. It’s a stupid tax and ought to be pole-axed tomorrow, if not yesterday.

  • sally says:

    My house went up 30 percent. I got it down last year, with an appeal, but it is up way high this year. Makes no sense at all to me how they justify this… they have no sales as comparables .. the comps on the website for my property are short sales and foreclosures, which they claim are not valid sales, not valid comps…

    It will cost me a lot if they raise the tax rate– thousands of dollars…

    And I have no kids in public schools, no public water, no public sewer, no trash– typical western loudoun.

  • Let's Be Free says:

    In Arlington went up 7 percent but have heard it was only in our neighborhood (about 400 homes). Darn, if all the sales in the last year weren’t by homeowners who had kept up their places in pristine condition.

  • Blackout II says:

    You want the value of your home to go down? You should be celebrating! You’re wealth just increased. it’s a good thing!

  • BlackOut says:

    Well LI, yours went up but Monks went down by 100K. Seems things are equally unpredictable. Maybe it will be the same as last year were 50% of the folks saw a tax decrease and the other half saw an increase. I am glad to see folks are looking at the other side of the tax equation and not just focusing on the tax rate. Neither by themselves mean anything. That’s what makes me laugh when folks talk about the “tax rate” going up. Technically true, but not related to what folks actually pay.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    Reading this blog made me appreciate living in PWC. I never thought I’d say that.

  • My land value declined by 10% but the improvements went up 10%! How the heck does that happen in this economic environment? That’s before the rate itself – which was not on the assessment

  • Brian S. says:

    Our assessment went down slightly, but our tax rate went up so it was a wash.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Here’s what seems to be happening. Those with fairly large amounts of land, over 5 acres, got a reduction in their land values. Fair enough, land values went down. In order to make up for that, they jacked up the assessed value of the house that sits on that land. While they couldn’t do it in neighborhoods, where house values would be comparable, they did on houses that are not a part of a neighborhood. It’s happened to several friends of mine, from Lovesttsville to Philomont. We all know that their house values have not increased by $100,000 to $250,000 over the last year. My guess? The county figures that they won’t easily be able to find comparables, but that’s just silly. All they need to do is find other homes with the same square footage, same number of bathrooms, and compare the house values. It’s all online, public information. For instance, I live in a small development with lots of 4 acres to over 15 acres. Our house values did not increase, or increased by very little. My friend in Philomont in a similar house that is slightly larger than mine, by 300 square feet, but without 1,800 square feet finished basement and with one less bathroom than mine. Both houses were built in 2005. This year, his house is valued at $230,000 more than mine! That’s just the house, not the land. His 22 acres decreased in value.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Check you assessments, if they went up, I bet it’s because they increased the value of the house and that’s ludicrous. No house values went UP in Loudoun in 2010, if anything they went down. Plus, it’s not like you could sell your house WITHOUT the land!

    Lorie Waters said that the Board of Supervisors needs to hear from us if we don’t want our tax rate rising to $1.41. Please write to your supervisor, and Scott York, to object to this outrageous tax increase. While my assessment went down by $30,000, we will pay over $700 more in taxes this year. If I still lived in Fairfax, in a house valued the same, I would paying $2,500 LESS in property taxes! WHY? What services am I getting in Loudoun that I would not be getting in Fairfax? This tax rate is totally ridiculous. Absurd.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Blackout, you couldn’t be more wrong. We’re all going to pay more. No one’s assessment went down enough to make up the difference that this HUGE tax increase will create.

    For those of you had house values increase, while property decreased, appeal it! That’s what my friends are doing. There is NO way that the county can explain how house values increased over the last year because they didn’t. Don’t let them get away with this silly gimmick.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Blackout, is there something that compels you to lie, or can you not read property records? Dean’s assessment most certainly did NOT go down by $100,000, although I’m sure he wishes that it did! We all wish we had such a decrease, but no one did.

  • sally says:


    Yes, they have a lot of very poor land sales and cannot support the land values from last year, so what they have done is to jack up the assessed value of the improvements on the lot…

    I spoke with the assessors office and they do not have their report for 2010 on the website yet, but their position is that overall value went up in 2009.

  • Sandy McFiddish says:

    Property values in my Ashburn neighborhood went up by about 12%. The land value held steady, but the improvement value rose quite a lot. It will be interesting to see the assessor’s report broken out by election district. In general, I think the assessment methodology is flawed. Values appear to be based on just a few sales in the immediate area. Sale prices have varied wildly from year to year, sending my tax bill and escrow balance on a roller coaster ride the past several years!

  • BlackOut says:

    I am just going off of that he said. Are u calling Dean a liar?

  • BlackOut says:

    LL, you couldn’t be more myopic. My taxes went down last year and so did G Stones. Half went up and half went down, that is what the County says. Stop lieing and assuming everyone’s taxes went up or are going up. You should read a larger sampling of the assessments, not just ones that make you feel good about your position. Look up Stones if you doubt me.

  • FedUp says:

    Leesburg Today reports values of existing homes declined an average of 2.89% coutywide, which puts the equalized tax rate at $1.28. Hemstreet reportedly will advertise $1.41, or about a 10% tax hike! The real estate market has not even fully recovered yet and they’re itching to return to the double-digit tax hikes of the housing bubble years!
    This board has a lot of cutting to do, but all I hear is a bunch of whining about the schools composite index.

  • John A. says:

    Assessment Decreased by 5% in Lansdowne. I had hoped the declining values in my area would stabilize. Just looking at value of my home I would have liked to see an increase in the assessment. That would have shown that the sales prices had bottomed out.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    BO, You keep arguing as if everyone should consider just their specific assessment situation. So your taxes went down last year – good for you! An equal portion of people saw a tax increase.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Early comment from BO II:

    “You want the value of your home to go down? You should be celebrating! You’re wealth just increased. it’s a good thing!”
    Yeah, that only holds water if this assessment has anything to do with the actual market value of my home, which personally I think it does not. As others have pointed out, my land value went down significantly while the house value went up significantly. Of course ending up with a net increase overall. It stinks to me.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    And hey FedUp – some others and I have emailed you (if you are who I think you are) trying to gather some resources to battle this budget against Hatrick’s minions. Get back to me!

  • BlackOut says:

    LL, I am not sure how you thing I am considering a “specific assessment” as my argument. If an equal portion of people saw a tax increase, as you know seem to be agreeing with me, then I’d say in the big picture there wasn’t a tax increase, or a tax decrease. The BS about taxes going up last year is the big misconception.
    Now if you want to think about things on a specific assessment situation than go right ahead. In your case, I am guess you saw a tax increase.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Is Hatrick doing the assessments now?
    NoVa Scout, please run for office so I can vote for you. Real estate taxes are a terrible way to fund education (which is really what we are talking about here).

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Leesburg Today article, says overall residential assessments are relatively flat, and lists supervisor’s changes:

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    People, it’s seriously time for a gaddammed old-fashioned TAX REVOLT!!!

  • Tobias Jodter says:

    “And I have no kids in public schools, no public water, no public sewer, no trash”

    Surely you are not suggesting that the referenced items have anything to do with an increase in taxes or tax rates at all? I thought more homes, more development, more re-zoning did not result in higher taxes?

  • $487.3K this year. As opposed to $576.2K last year. Building went down $30K, land went down $60K. But this is so rare for my house, that I’m not pacified.
    I’ll be right there fighting the new rate, because everything is connected, and it compounds. This is but a mere stepping stone to a higher rate next year.

  • Tobias, I was thinking the exact same thing. While shouting down the COCS ratios that bear out what she’s experiencing, she just became a cash cow….like so many other empty nesters. We recieve nothing, while paying out the nose for the other half’s services.

  • sally says:


    Don’t be stupid. The Cog data you want to trumpet is way too simple.

    If it would be cheaper for me to hook up to town water and sewer, and by the forces of economies of scale, lower everyone’s prices, I would be happy to do that.
    But some people like having excess capacity, and paying twice what they should for it…

    I have never disputed that my taxes are way too high for the services I receive.

    And I am not an empty nester, I have always chosen to place my kids elsewhere than in Loudoun County public schools. Had my fill with the issues in public schools in Fairfax County…

    So, get off my back and like I said, don’t be stupid.

    There is NO justification for the assessed value of my home to go up 30 percent. Saw in the Leesburg Today article that Burton’s went up about that much too, and that Sally Kurtz’s went up significantly, also…

    What’s up with Western Loudoun assessments?

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    Maybe they singled you out with a low assessment to appease and/or shut you up Monk!
    There are LC residents out there with kids in school and use all the public services but are still in favor of reducing the rate, taxes and generally taking a scapel to the budget (besides me). I talk to them all the time, they love to complain but they are too lazy to get off their butts and go to a BOS input session, call their Supervisor, sent an email, or even speak out in mixed company. I know, I know – what’s new?
    LI, I say this because Tax Revolt sounds really good to me, but short of pitch forks and torches carried by a handful of TCers – would the citizens join us or stay on the couch?

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Good question, LL. Good question. Normally I would say most would stay home on their asses, but I think real anger is building. We just need to encourage and harness it to the task at hand.

  • Leej says:

    The bottom line you home is only worth what SOMEONE will PAY for it. Assessments and appraisals are somewhat a guide but I have seen homes go way more or way less. The problem here is our BOS keeps saying they are NOT raising taxes just the tax rate. LI is correct time for a TAX revolt. Seems the BOS is being overwhelmed by parents not wanting the school budget cut and most of the other people that want the tax rate lower don’t stand up and shout as the parents with kids.

  • BlackOut says:

    I say everyone should speak there mind. The more the merrier. All should bring their viewpoints to light and lobby for them effectively. At the end of the day, somewhere in the middle will be the right answer.

  • Leej says:

    Don’t forget Miller who said he is anti more development got a project called Fairfield approved for4 much higher density which will be a kid magnet so, so much for Millers anti development that will produce more kids into the school system. Oh the proffer is widening a road to nowhere and two traffic lights. So instead of getting more ED here which would lower our taxes he approves a kid magnet development. The reason this is important is Lerner is also looking to get approved a large kid magnet residential at the Dulles town center and of course we all know that is in Millers twin McG’s district. So we will see how smart Miller and McG’s new planning commissioners really are this will be a test of of how smart they are and or if they are just puppets of the bosses Miller and McG. Approve these kind of developments the school system will grow and higher and higher taxes for us.

  • Steve Vaughan says:

    City of Richmond: Down about 8%. I’d rather it was going the other way.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    How is it fair that the same house, same square footage, built the same year, same number of bathrooms and garages and decks, same rural location, has a MUCH higher assessment if it sits on a larger lot or a lot that is not in a neighborhood? That’s exactly what the county is doing. That’s why Sally’s house value went WAY up, as did LI’s house, while all those in my neighborhood did not. That’s why friends in Lovettsville, Round Hill, and Philomont, all saw BIG increases in the values of their houses. Any house, not in a neighborhood, went up this year, with some rising by well over $100,000. How can the county possibly justify that? A 3,500 square foot house, with 3 bathrooms and a garage, should be valued about the same as any other 3,500 square foot house with 3 bathrooms and a garage, in the same area, regardless of the land it sits on, or the neighborhood in which it sits, or lack of neighborhood. People who choose to buy a house on a larger piece of property, or a house not surrounded by an established neighborhood, should not be penalized, and that’s exactly what the county is attempting to do. It’s simply not fair.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    I urge all of you who are in the situation that I described above to find other homes in your towns that are similar to your’s, with the same square footage, bathrooms, garages, all the things that get assessed, and see how much the house values vary. The differences will astound you and they also make for good arguments for lowering your assessments.

    Sally, if you need any help with find those comparables, please email me, as I did the research for my friend who had one of these out of wack house assessments. Ditto LI. You need to find houses like your’s in your area of the county. My guess is the county thinks people who are not in established neighborhoods won’t notice that their houses are way over valued compared to others in their town. My friend had the same problem last year, I did the research, she turned in the comparable houses, and voila, they reduced her house value. Of course, they jacked it back up this year. Sigh……………so unfair.

  • The partners of gay county employees are getting special benefits? I hadn’t heard about that, Greg L. Please tell me more.
    Greg L, well informed as always. 😉

  • LL may have something there.
    Sally, nobody said your assessment should climb 30%. Please do not attribute what I said as justification of that. I was just welcoming you to the multitude of rural properties that get zero county services, yet are required to fund the residential areas.

  • sally says:

    A comment on the Leesburg Today article opines that the County intentionally rearranged Western Loudoun values by reducing land subject to the land use deferral, and then raised the buildings assessment, for an overall taxable value increase… so for example, land down $50,000 but improvements up $75,000 for an overall increase of only $25,000 but a taxable value increase of $75,000 since the land value is deferred….

    An attempt to undermine the land use program??? to make land use a lot of work for not much benefit??

    Either that or land values dropped so much because of all the foreclosures, and they are just scrambling to avoid challenges on the land, and figure it is harder to challenge “improved” real estate, not in neighborhoods with easy comps…

    How will they justify that they assessed the same improvement so much less last year? I think there will be a lot of appeals…

  • BlackOut says:

    This is enough to burn my ass:

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    Sorry for the hijack, but this is unbelievable.

  • G. Stone says:

    “Look up Stones if you doubt me.”
    That is a hell of an argument. look up some third party assessment. Not to mention your wrong. Your using the wrong Stone. What a dipshit.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    I saw that earlier from someone, BO, but just had a chance to read it. Ridiculous. New post up.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    BO, Do you think the real BO will speak out against the Pelosi Party Military Flights?

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Edmund – I very much appreciate your support. I am now up to 2 votes in my campaign. I fear that I am insufficiently silly to really get to big numbers.

  • Paul says:

    NoVA Scout – you are up to at least 5 now, counting my voting household. Income ilo property tax, elegantly simple and fair, like flat tax, reduces cost of government, too logical.
    BO – thanks for the headsup highjack on Pelosi, WTF!

  • NoVA Scout says:

    My first campaign rally will be at my HQ in downtown Dunn Loring. I think I can accommodate all six of us with room to spare. BTW, Paul, I am a big flat tax supporter on the federal level. I spend a couple of thousand dollars a year just in tax preparation,let alone tax liability. It’s madness that a system would be so complex. The reason is that pols of both parties want to use the federal tax code to curry political favor from voters and interest groups. They take our families’ resources by the force of the government monopoly on violence and incarceration, and then expect us to love them if they give back a few coins. I’m not sure that if there were a straight 17 or 20% federal income tax (no exemptions, credits, or deductions) I wouldn’t pay more. However, I have no doubt that that would be a fairer, more efficient, less costly system.

    The local property tax is just completely indefensible, but virtually no one is willing to attack it at its roots, because they are afraid to deal intelligently with the reality that such a move would require increases in other taxes.

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