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Board of Equalization Analysis

Statistics

2004

 

 

 

Appeals Heard

259 Parcels

 

 

Assessments Reduced

141 Parcels

 

 

Percentage of Heard Appeals Reduced

54%

 

 

Average Reduction

32%

 

 

Number of Reductions Recommended by Staff

19

 

 

Percentage of Reductions Recommended by Staff

13%

 

 

Average Tax Reduction

$8,131.26

 

 

Approximate Reduction in Loudoun County Revenue[1]

$1.2 million

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you appeal your assessment, you have a better than average chance of winning a reduction. If you win a reduction, it is likely to be almost a third of your county assessment.

Conclusion: Either the Loudoun County Assessor’s Office is failing to adequately assess properties in Loudoun or the Board of Equalization is deciding appeals on a very liberal basis. There seems to be evidence for both.

 


Board of Equalization Analysis

Barriers to Analysis

2004

 

In undertaking an analysis of the 2004 appeals, a number of barriers exist:

  • The printed minutes are full of errors. For example,
    • The minutes for October 18 and 20, 2004 are identical
    • Date headings change within the minutes of a single meeting (see the minutes for July 12 and 14, 2004 and October 20 and 27, 2004)
    • The minutes record that no reduction was given an appellant, while the Alpha Index records a reduction or vice versa (see Benjamin & Alma Silliman heard and decided on June 23, 2004 and Michael A. & Deborah A. Iacoviacci heard and decided on August 2, 2004)
    • The Alpha Index records names and decisions of entries for which the minutes provide no record of an actual hearing (see William C. & Carole S. Ruff)
    • The Alpha Index records names and decisions of entries for which the minutes provide no record of the Board’s decision (see Summit Properties, Valley Vista Associates, Arlean Inez Hill & Arlaan McKay, and Thomas M. & Elaine L. Duke, Jr.)
  • The printed minutes reveal no rationale for the Board’s decision in just over a third of the appeals (36%)

 

  • All meeting minutes are recorded in shorthand.  There are no tapes of the Board’s proceedings and deliberations to which one might refer back with questions

Board of Equalization Analysis

Concerns

2004

 

  • Where the Board provides a rationale for its decision, there is a lack of consistency – the same reason is used to justify opposite outcomes (see Attachment 1)

 

  • The Board ignored actual sales data of the property in question that supported the County assessment, despite this statement found on Page 1 of the printed minutes for the July 28, 2004 meeting: “The board found that the subject should have been assessed at the purchase price, that is the fair market price for the subject.” (see Attachment 2)

 

  • The Board gave significant reductions to a plaintiff in the 2003 Zoning Ordinance law suits. The County assessment demonstrated that contrary to the plaintiff’s “takings” arguments, the value of his property increased with the remapping. The effect of the Board’s reduction was to eliminate that evidence – despite actual sales data on one of the parcels that seemed to validate the County assessment (see Attachment 3)

 

  • In some cases it is unclear whether the Board or the County Assessment Office is assessing properties consistently over time. It may be that both organizations are in need of improvement (see Attachment 4)

 


Attachment 1 – Inconsistencies

 

 

When an assessment should equal the prior year’s assessment

State law requires the County to assess property at the fair market value. In several cases the Board justified reductions with the statement that “the Board felt that the prior assessment was the most equitable.” By “prior” the Board meant the year before. In the real estate market of the last few years can the fair market value of any parcel in Loudoun County truly have remained constant? Further, why would this argument not apply to every landowner who appealed his/her assessment? The printed record provides no clarification.

Owner’s Name

Tax Map No.

Date of Hearing

Decision Date

2003 Final Assessment

2004 County Assessment

BOE Value

IDI-Cortese, LP (Leisure World)

/62///3/////1A

9/24/04

10/27/04

$8,597,500

$12,932,500

$8,597,500

IDI-Cortese, LP (Leisure World)

/62///3/////3A

9/24/04

10/27/04

$   975,000

$ 1,959,000

$   975,000

IDI-Cortese, LP (Leisure World)

/62///8/////3/

9/24/04

10/27/04

$5,792,500[2]

$18,991,200

$5,792,500[3]

TOTAL

$15,365,000.00

$33,882,700.00

$15,365,000.00

Breeden, Betty M. & Neff, Harry J.

/93////////21A

11/1/04

11/1/04

$   122,500

$     226,800

$   125,000[4]

Prologis-MacQuarie Virginia I, LLC[5]

/94////////19A

10/18/04

10/18/04

$8,584,200

$12,921,800

$12,091,300[6]

TC Glen Co. (Town & Country Trust)

/48///////128C

11/1/04

11/1/04

$10,877,400

$12,406,000

$10,877,400


When an assessment should be equalized with neighbors

In some cases the Board justified its decision to reduce an assessment with the statement that “the board found that the subject needed to be equalized with its neighbors.” In other cases it rejected or did not address appellants’ argument that relevant comparables should come from the immediate neighborhood. The printed minutes provide no indication as to what criteria the Board used to determine when a subject should be equalized with its neighbors and when the mass appraisal system is sufficient.

Owner’s Name

Tax Map No.

Date of Hearing

Decision Date

Per Cent Reduction by BOE

Notes

Blum, Edward J. & Lark

/98///1/////2/

6/23/2004

6/23/2004

4%

"The owner stated that all of their neighbors pay less than they do. Mr. Stober [County Assessor's Office] presented a list of sales and an assessment of the research he had done on the neighboring properties and recommended that the land value be adjusted to be inline with neighboring properties. The Board concurred."

Lloyd, Susan Roland

/80/C/5///209/

6/30/2004

6/30/2004

1%

The owner complained that the assessed value "exceeded the neighbor by $5,600 even though the are exactly the same model. Ms Fishel of the Assessor's Office pointed out that the neighbor is a year younger…The board granted her one more percentage point of depreciation for this year with the understanding that the assessor's office would not be able to change it permanently."

Abrahamian, David A. & Irene

/62//37////55/

8/9/2004

8/9/2004

5%

The owner "felt that homes in his immediate area were more appropriate……When comparing with his neighbors, the subject was the only one property value that increased, while the others decreased...Mr. Houser [County Assessor's Office] presented the subject's printout and comparable sales…The board found in favor of the owner.

Steigerwald, John S. & Christine

/57//20////23/

8/9/2004

8/9/2004

0%

"In June of 2003 [the owner] had a professional appraisal done…The results were much lower than the county has it assessed for…the comparables used by the county were located all over the county. The comparables used by the professional appraiser were all within close proximity.   Ms. Coakley [County Assessor's Office] ...presented the list [of comparables] to the Board. The Board found the subject to be assessed equitably."

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////95/

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

14.6%

"The board found that the subjects needed to be reduced when compared to their neighbors."

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////96/

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

34.6%

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////93/

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

82.0%

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////94/

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

81.4%

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////92/

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

44.2%

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////91/

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

44.2%

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////74/

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

34.6%

Wells, John S. & Sharon A.

/34//10/////4B

8/9/2004

8/16/2004

19%

"The owners believe they should at least be assessed equal to all of their neighbors. Ms. Coakley [County Assessor's Office] was going to look into why their assessed value differs from the neighboring parcels and get back to the Board."   "The Board found in favor of the owner's request of value."

Wells, John S. & Sharon A. (Christopher G.)

/34//41///4B1/

8/9/2004

8/16/2004

16%

Wells, John S. & Sharon A. (Sharon)

/34//41///4B2/

8/9/2004

8/16/2004

16%

Bland, Albert & Ann

/72///7////I1/

7/19/2004

8/18/2004

66%

The owner stated that "the subject is valued much higher than any other parcel in the vicinity except for the other half of the land that was part of the original purchase and now belongs to his friend, Mr. Smith." "The Board found that the subject needed to be equalized with its neighbors."

Smith, Curtis A. & Bernice E.

/72///7////I2/

7/28/2004

8/18/2004

56.25%

The Board found that the subject needed to be equalized with its neighbors.

Rees, G. Scott & Michelle D.

/79/D/2////16/

8/23/2004

8/23/2004

0

The owner tried "to show that the subject was assessed inequitably when compared to his neighbors…Mr. Lineburg [County Assessor's Office] presented the board with current sales comparables and the subject's worksheets along with comparable printouts. He explained the mass appraisal method and the search for the typical house within a group. Within the group of comparables [the owner] presented are both good quality and average quality homes. The assessor must look at the same quality home within a group. The board found the subject was equitably assessed."

Lyden, Robert J. & Laura

/47/G/4///356/

9/8/2004

9/8/2004

0

The owner "compared his .28 of an acre in Woodlea Manor to those with over an acre in Woodlea Hills and could not understand how an acre could be the same value as his .28 of an acre. Ms. Pappas [County Assessor's Office] explained the mass appraisal method to him...The Board found no inequity in the assessed value of the subject."

Stowers, Catherine B.

/48////////67/

9/27/2004

10/27/2004

20%

The owner "believes that the comparables used by the assessor are too far away. Ms. Pappas [County Assessor's Office] explained that [the owner] lives in a unique situation where she lives on a parcel that is being engulfed by new developments that are affecting her assessment. Ms. Pappas explained the process used in mass appraisal..." "The Board granted a location adjustment to equalize the subject."

 

 

 

 

 

 


When soil does not perc

The Board does consistently provide a reduction to landowners whose property does not perc. The inconsistency is found in the percentage reduction given by the Board and the value given these nonbuildable parcels.

Name

Tax Map No.

 

 

Acres

 

Hearing Date

Decision Date

BOE Reduction

BOE Land Value

Notes

Obert, Denise & Donald

/38/A/119///5/

0.32

7/19/2004

8/16/2004

16%

$ 70,000

Failure of soil to perc

Spence, Raymond E. Jr. & Mary Jane

/63/D/2////96/

1.01

8/11/2004

8/16/2004

34.60%

$ 72,100

"The board found that the subjects needed to be reduced when compared with their neighbors."

Virts, George F. & June D.

//9////////36/

1.25

6/28/2004

6/28/2004

27%

$ 57,500

Failure of soil to perc

Stuart, Edward P. & Trudy L.

/20////////15/

2

7/14/2004

10/6/2004

30%

$118,800

Failure of soil to perc

Quesenberry, Darrell & Cynthia

/60///8/////6B

3.18

8/30/2004

8/30/2004

66%

$ 73,100

No reason given by Board

Fred, S. H. R. Estate (Smithwick, Dot)

/87////////52A

6

8/30/2004

8/30/2004

22%

$150,000

Failure of soil to perc

Fred, S. H. R. Estate (Smithwick, Dot)

/87////////52B

6

8/30/2004

8/30/2004

46.70%

$150,000

Failure of soil to perc

Busby, John L. & Jane G.

101////////48/

8.85

6/28/2004

6/28/2004

35%

$307,400

Failure of soil to perc

Ohneiser, Robert J. & Susan M.

/19///4/////8/

10.03

7/12/2004

7/12/2004

6.30%

$118,400

No reason given by Board

Busby, John L. & Jane G.

101////////49/

21.84

6/28/2004

6/28/2004

65%

$425,900

Failure of soil to perc

 

 


Attachment 2 – Inconsistent Use of Sales Price as an Indicator of Fair Market Value

July 28, 2004

On July 28, 2004 the Board justified the assessment reduction it granted to Jorge Forgues & Maria Thomae (/38//22///E20/) with the following language: “The Board found that the subject should have been assessed at the purchase price, that is the fair market price for the subject.”

In this appeal the purchase took place eleven days prior to 12/31/03. Using the mass appraisal method, the County assessed the property at $954,700. The Board chose to reduce the assessment to the actual purchase price of $915,500.

Members present: Bogle, Grace, Harrison, Moyes

July 12, 2004

On July 12, 2004 Morgan A. & Leslie R. Kash appealed the assessment on two properties they had purchased on April 16, 2004.

Tax Map Number

Assessment Fair Market Value

Purchase Price

BOE Assessment

/11////////86/

$147,800

$ 45,000

$45,000

/11////////87B

$104,300

$115,000

$92,500

 

In one case the Board reduced the assessment to the purchase price; in the other, the Board reduced the assessment to less than the purchase price. While the owners’ arguments were reported in the printed minutes, no rationale was reported for the Board’s decisions.

Members present: Bogle, Grace, Harrison, Moyes, Myers

July 19, 2004

On July 19, 2004 Patowmack Associates, Inc. requested a reduction, stating that “the property was purchased at the fair market value of $92,500. The assessment is higher than [what] we paid for the property.” According to the Assessment Database, Patowmack Associates recorded the sale on August 1, 2003. The Assessor’s Office presented the Board with comparable land sales. The Board decided not to provide a reduction, but did not give a reason in the printed minutes for its decision.


 

Tax Map Number

 

2004 Assessment Fair Market Value

 

Buyer / Date Sale Recorded

 

Purchase Price

 

BOE Assessment

/36/E/3////34/

$ 99,200

Patowmack Assocs. / 8-1-03

$92,500

$ 99,200

/36/E/3////35/

$ 99,200

**

**

$ 99,200

/36/E/3////36/

$ 99,200

**

**

$ 99,200

TOTAL

$297,600

 

$92,500

$297,600


October 27, 2004

The Board decided two appeals in direct opposition to its statement July 28, 2004 – even while, in one case, reiterating exactly that statement.

Petra, LLC (Khalil Karjawally, Registered Agent)

On September 27, 2004 Petra, LLC requested a reduction in its County assessment for its four parcels based on a reading of tax law, particularly section 58.1-3285. The County Assessor’s office presented actual sales data for the parcels dated February 23, 2004 and June 15, 2004. On October 27, 2004 the Board reversed the County Assessor’s office and reduced the assessments to far less than the purchase price of the parcels.

The printed minutes provide the following rationale: “The board agreed with the owner’s opinion of value.”

 

Tax Map Number

 

2004 Assessment Fair Market Value

 

Buyer / Date Sale Recorded

 

Purchase Price

 

BOE Assessment

/90////////16/

$2,203,200

Park Royal, LLC / 2-23-04

$7,207,452

$1,135,200

/90////////18/

$2,420,700

**

**

$   822,200

Total

$4,620,000

 

$7,207,452

$1,957,400

/90////////37/

$4,620,000

Juno-Loudoun, LLC / 6-15-04

$11,000,000

$2,386,000

/90////////37B

$   188,100

**

**

$   144,400

Total

$4,808,100

 

$11,000,000

$2,530,400

 

Although it is unknown as to whether Ms. Myers has an official relationship with Park Royal, LLC and Juno-Loudoun, LLC (the land’s purchasers), she does seem to have some relationship with them. She met with them in the lobby of the Government Center after the Public Hearing for their private roadway application and, on September 19, 2005, attended the press conference they held at the Tysons’ Corner Ritz-Carlton for their development.

Members present (9/27/04):   Harrison, Moyes

Members present (10/27/04): Bogle, Harrison, Moyes, Myers

International Pavilion, LP (Cynthia Carr Shrump, Registered Agent)

On October 25, 2004 International Pavilion, LP requested a reduction in its County assessment for five parcels in the Town of Leesburg. The County Assessor’s office had assessed four out of the five parcels at the same amount as in 2003. The appellant stated that the best comparables for the parcels were the subjects themselves, which had been sold on April 15, 2004. However, only three out of the five parcels had actually been sold.

On October 27, 2004 the Board reduced the assessment on one parcel because “lack of access would affect the value of the subject” and on the other four parcels because “the Board agreed with the owner’s opinion of value.”

 

Tax Map Number

2003 Assessment Fair Market Value

2004 Assessment Fair Market Value

 

Buyer / Date Sale Recorded

 

Purchase Price

 

BOE Assessment

 

Reason

/49///4//CTYB/

$     88,200

$143,000

Not Sold

Not Sold

$   13,700

Lack of access

/49//28///B10/

$1,116,900

$1,116,900

Not Sold

Not Sold

$ 535,700

Owner’s opinion

/49//28////B5/

$2,357,700

$2,357,700

Battlefield FE, LP / 4-15-04

$8,305,440

$2,158,400

Owner’s opinion

/49//28////B6/

$2,357,900

$2,357,900

**

**

$2,153,100

Owner’s opinion

/49//28////B7/

$2,357,800

$2,357,800

**

**

$2,156,400

Owner’s opinion

Sub-Total (Parcels Sold)

$7,073,400.00

$7,073,400.00

$8,305,440

$6,467,900.00

 

By this decision, the Board assessed the three parcels that had sold at 85% of their sales price – even while they referred to the appellant’s argument that the best indicator of fair market value was the actual sales price. Further, the Board decision reduced the two unsold parcels to 16% and 48% of their 2003 values, giving the impression that they had lost value during the current real estate boom.

Members present (10/25/04): Bogle, Harrison, Moyes, Myers

Members present (10/27/04): Bogle, Grace, Harrison, Moyes, Myers

November 8, 2004

On November 1, 2004 representatives for Jack Shockey and his family appeared before the Board and requested assessment reductions on nine parcels zoned Planned Development – General Industry. According to the printed minutes, their representative offered the following reasons in support of reduction:

  • The lack of frontage on Route 50 of seven of the parcels
  • The parcels were in agricultural use rather than industrial
  • The parcels were rezoned by the Board of Supervisors without the owners’ permission and the subject of several lawsuits
  • The comparables used by the Assessor’s Office were no good.

The recorded response of the County Assessor’s Office was an acknowledgement of the “problem with the rezoning and the problem with finding good comparables. Nothing has sold in the county that is zoned PD-GI.” However, the Shockeys had sold one of the parcels for which they were requesting a reduction -- part of a multi-zoned, multi-parcel sale.

 

Tax Map Number

 

 

Zoning

 

2004 Assessment Fair Market Value

 

Buyer / Date Sale Recorded

 

 

Purchase Price

 

BOE Assessment

101/D/3////13/

PD-GI

$14,179,500

Arcola Associates, LC (Greenvest) / 8-25-04

$13,000,000

$1,172,200

/91///5/////A/

TR3UBF

$ 1,859,700

**

**

Not Appealed

/91///5/////B/

TR1UBF TR3UBF

$ 1,740,800

**

**

Not Appealed

/91////////22/

TR1UBF

$     389,200

**

**

Not Appealed

TOTAL

$18,169,200

$13,000,000

$ 5,161,900

 

It might be hard to determine the exact value of the PD-GI zoned parcel from just the sale price because of the multi-zoned nature of the parcels zoned. Documentation of the sales negotiations might very well have offered some insight into how the purchasers valued the PD-GI zoned portion. However, according to the printed minutes, neither the Board nor the Assessor’s Office requested such data or even acknowledged the sale’s occurrence. Instead, on November 8, the Board decided to reduce the assessment to its 2003 value, with the printed minutes stating that “the Board agreed with the owner’s value while zoning and roads are in doubt.” The result was that rather than being assessed for approximately $5 million more than the sale price, the four parcels were assessed at $7.8 million less than the actual sales price.

Members present (11/1/04):   Bogle, Grace, Harrison, Myers

Members present (11/8/04):   Bogle, Grace, Harrison, Moyes, Myers (recused herself from the hearing and the decision)


Attachment 3 – Reductions to Law Suit Plaintiff

 

Shockey Family (Chancery 22493, 22494, 22498, 22501, 22505)

On February 21, 2003 the Shockey family sued Loudoun County with regard to the rezoning and remapping of their property.

On November 1, 2004 representatives for Jack Shockey and his family appeared before the Board and requested assessment reductions on nine parcels zoned Planned Development – General Industry. According to the printed minutes, their representative offered the following reasons in support of reduction:

  • The lack of frontage on Route 50 of seven of the parcels
  • The parcels were in agricultural use rather than industrial
  • The parcels were rezoned by the Board of Supervisors without the owners’ permission and the subject of several lawsuits
  • The comparables used by the Assessor’s Office were no good.

The response of the County Assessor’s Office, according to the printed minutes, was an acknowledgement of the “problem with the rezoning and the problem with finding good comparables. Nothing has sold in the county that is zoned PD-GI.” On November 8, the Board (with, according to the printed minutes, Ms. Myers recusing herself from the hearing and decision) decided to reduce the assessment to its 2003 value, with the printed minutes stating that “the Board agreed with the owner’s value while zoning and roads are in doubt.”


 

Owner

 

Tax ID

2003 County Assessment

2004 County Assessment

 

2004 BOE Value

 

Difference in Value

MacKall, H., Trustee,   & Haseltine Shockey

100////////65/

$1,245,900

$ 4,172,300

$ 1,245,900

$ 2,926,400

Shockey, Lee Jackson, et.al.

100////////67/

$     476,700

$ 2,123,300

$   476,700

$ 1,646,600

MacKall, H., Trustee,   & Haseltine Shockey

100////////68/

$1,629,800

$ 3,581,800

$ 1,629,800

$ 1,952,000

Shockey, Lee Jackson, et.al.

100/B/1////21/

$     172,000

$   677,900

$   172,000

$  505,900

Shockey, Lee Jackson, et.al.

100/B/1////27/

$     109,100

$   241,200

$   109,100

$    132,100

Shockey, Lee Jackson, et.al.

101/D/2/////8/

$     246,400

$   772,700

$   246,400

$  526,300

Shockey, Lee Jackson, et.al.

100/B/1////21A

$       99,600

$   191,600

$     99,600

$      92,000

Arcola Associates, LC (Greenvest)

101/D/3////13/

$ 1,172,200

$14,179,500

$ 1,172,200

$13,007,300

Shockey, Lee Jackson, et.al.

101/D/2////10/

$     373,800

$ 1,463,800

$   373,800

$ 1,090,000

 

TOTALS

$5,525,5000

$27,404,100

$ 5,525,500

$ 21,878,600

 

The Board’s decision reduced the Shockey properties assessment by over $21.8 million, from a County assessment of $27.4 million to a Board assessment of $5.5 million. A major claim of the Shockey lawsuits argued that the rezoning of their properties resulted in significantly reduced values and therefore constituted a “takings.” The Board’s decision, while taking “no position,” seems to eliminate possible evidence contrary to the Shockey’s position.

According to the printed minutes, Ms. Myers recused herself from the November 8th hearing and decision. The printed minutes do not record Ms. Myers reasons for recusing herself, however, knowledge of the local political and land use scene suggest some possible reasons. Ms. Myers was, and is, a leader in the fight against the 2003 zoning ordinance revisions as a member of Citizens for Property Rights (an organization founded and led by Mr. Shockey) and is an officer of the Dulles Area Association of Realtors. Many members of the DAAR supported Mr. Shockey and CPR, and the organization took a formal position and public actions against the 2001 comprehensive plan and 2003 zoning ordinance revisions.

While Ms. Myers may have recused herself from the actual discussion and decision on November 8th, there is no indication in the printed minutes that she recused herself during the November 1st discussion of the Shockey’s appeal.

Mr. Moyes, whose law firm (according to www.martindale.com) represents the Dulles Association of Realtors was present at and participated in both meetings. As the DAAR chose to take an official stand on the issue of downzoning and invested organizational funds and officers’ and members’ time in lobbying citizens and County elected officials (see highlighted articles following), the association, its members, and its representatives had a vested interest in the lawsuit’s outcome

Members present (11/1/04):   Bogle, Grace, Harrison, Myers

Members present (11/8/04):   Bogle, Grace, Harrison, Moyes, Myers (recused herself from the hearing and the decision)

In addition to the above law suit plaintiff, significant reductions were given to a number of people who supported issues important to Ms. Myers, CPR and the Dulles Area Association of Realtors. These include:

  • Valley Vista Associates, LLC: The Registered Agent for Valley Vista is Scott Plein, currently the Loudoun Chapter President of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association).       Valley Vista appealed the assessment on two parcels, receiving a 28% reduction on each. There is no record of the hearing in the printed minutes.
  • Spence, Raymond & Mary Jane: Ms. Spence is a vocal anti-tax advocate.       Mr. & Mrs. Spence appealed and received reductions on 7 parcels. The reductions ranged from 14.6% to 82%, averaging 46%. According to the printed minutes, the Board found the land needed to be reduced when compared to their neighbors.
  • Cynthia Carr Shrump: Ms. Shrump spoke publically against the Western rezoning with regards to an 120 acre parcel north of Lucketts.       However, Ms. Shrump is also the registered owner for International Pavilions, LP which, as detailed in Attachment 2, received reductions to less than the sales price for five parcels in Leesburg.
  • Bland, Albert & Ann: Mr. Bland has been a vocal opponent of the Western rezoning. Mr. Bland’s case is detailed in Attachment 4. As with the Spence’s parcels, the Board found the land needed to be reduced when compared to his neighbors.

 


Attachment 4 – The Case of Albert Bland and the St. Louis Area

In some cases it is unclear whether the Board or the County Assessment Office is assessing properties inconsistently. It may be that both organizations are in need of improvement. The situation of the Village of St. Louis and, in particular, Albert Bland (whose complaint before the Board of Supervisors initiated this inquiry), provides a good example.

In July 19, 2004 Mr. Bland appealed his assessment, arguing that his parcel was “valued much higher than any other parcel in the vicinity except for the other half of the land that was part of the original purchase and now belongs to his friend, Mr. Smith.”[7] On August 18, 2004 the Board reduced the assessment of Mr. Bland’s land by 66% -- from $200,700 to $88,000. According to the printed minutes, “the board found that the subject needed to be equalized with its neighbors.”

 

 

Owner Name

 

 

Tax ID / Acreage

 

2004 County Assessment - Land

 

 

2004 BOE Assessment - Land

Bland, Albert & Ann

/72///7////I1/

5 acres

$200,700

$88,000

Smith, Curtis A. & Bernice E.

/72///7////I2/

5 acres

$200,700

$88,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members present (7/19/04):   Grace, Harrison, Moyes, Myers

Members present (8/18/04):   Bogle, Harrison, Moyes

In 2005, Mr. Bland again expressed concern about his assessment. According to staff in the County Assessor’s office, the Board did not hold a hearing as usual. Instead, they called Mr. Bland and asked if he would accept the prior year (2004) value of $88,000. Mr. Bland accepted the Board’s offer.

 

 

Owner Name

 

 

Tax ID / Acreage

 

2004 County Assessment - Land

 

 

2004 BOE Assessment - Land

Bland, Albert & Ann

/72///7////I1/

5 acres

$157,000

$88,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Mr. Shockey, Mr. Bland, an ally of Citizens for Property Rights, has been an outspoken critic of the 2001 comprehensive plan and 2003 zoning ordinance revisions. However, a look at the historic record for the comparables provided by the Assessor’s Office for 2005 muddies the analytical waters.

 

 

 

 

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2004 BOE

2005

2005 BOE Assessment (unofficial)

Tax Map ID

Owner

Acres

Zoning

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

Land Value

/72///7////I1/

Bland, Albert

5

CR-1

$46,000

$68,700

$68,700

$76,200

$78,200

$78,200

$200,700

$88,000

$157,000

$88,000

/72///7////I2/

Smith, Curtis

5

A3

$46,000

$68,700

$68,700

$76,200

$78,200

$78,200

$200,700

$88,000

$157,000

 

/72//10/////3/

Howard, Albert

4.31

CR-1

$44,600

$70,200

$70,200

$77,500

$79,500

$79,500

$195,700

n/a

$221,600

 

/72////////15/

Fuog, John Lane

6.55

RC / CR-3

$49,100

$77,200

$77,200

$86,000

$88,000

$88,000

$88,000

n/a

$179,200

 

/72////////11B

Commonwealth of VA (VDOT)

5.77

RC

$67,900

$67,900

$67,900

$83,100

$192,100

$192,100

$140,900

n/a

$251,700

 

 

As with Mr. Bland, there are examples in each of the comparables where the prior year’s assessment was carried forward into the next year – or in the case of the VDOT parcel to have actually dropped in value.  



[1] Using a tax rate of $1.1075

[2] $372,400 of the total reduction was seemingly due to a database error, which indicated a non-existant improvement.

[3] $372,400 of the total reduction was seemingly due to a database error, which indicated a non-existant improvement.

[4] The owners requested a reversion to the 2003 value; the Board reduced the County Assessment by $101,800, which was $2,500 more than the owners’ request.

[5] Mislabeled H D Development of Maryland in the printed minutes.

[6] The printed minutes read, “The board felt that the assessed value should be the 2003 value.” However, the recorded action and the County’s Assessment database do not show such an outcome. They record that only the land retained its 2003 value of $3,732,200. The building, while reduced $830,500, still retained a substantially higher value than the year before.

[7] Mr. Smith requested a reduction in his 2004 assessment on July 28, 2004 and received a 56.25% reduction on August 18, 2004. Like Mr. Bland, the Board reduced the assessment on Mr. Smith’s five acres from $200,700 to $88,000.