Albemarle County’s recently released assessment figures show “healthy” increases in a number of neighborhoods and property categories. Generally, assessments were up by an average of 2.9% over last year, but some specific areas are showing wild fluctuations (both up and down) in comparison with last year.
After receiving complaints from Albemarle County property owners, The Schilling Show conducted an analysis of assessments on a single street, Polo Grounds Road, to validate claims of seemingly chaotic inconsistency.
The following chart shows current and immediately precedent assessment numbers for all Polo Grounds road properties:
With some tracts suffering year-over-year percentage decreases in the mid teens, neighboring properties showed increases north of 20%.
While this is only one street, and the rest of Albemarle County may be vastly more consistent, such dramatic deviations do cause concern over assessor competency, systemwide fairness, and legally required assessment accuracy.
Virginia’s antiquated system of real estate valuation is capricious, at best, and Albemarle County’s wildly fluctuating assessments—even in a small sample—diminish trust in an already questionable process.