Unfair Real Estate Assessments Hit Affordable Homes, Condos and Small Businesses Hard
We've recently heard many complaints about Arlington's unfair estate assessment system. And we have to wonder what's going on in the Assessor's Office at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard. In Fairlington, and elsewhere, the smallest and most affordable condo units were hit by the biggest assessment increases. Same for small single family homes in the older residential neighborhoods. And several hundred small businesses saw their assessments rise between 20% and 100%.
Arlington's real estate assessment system heavily discounts improvements and relies upon the sales price of similar properties in the various neighborhoods. That results in huge disparities in annual assessments between improved and unimproved properties. According to PR from the County Manager's Office the County will only re-evaluate the most egregious cases for commercial properties whose assessments increased by 50% or more this year.
Meanwhile, the County Manager and County Board are gloating over the pot of gold to be obtained from increased residential and commercial assessments. Much more to come in 2015. Be prepared to be surprised.