Sunday, January 22, 2017

City Real Estate Taxation & Roanoke City GIS Functionality This Week At REI

This week we have special guest speaker Susan Lower, Director of Real Estate Valuation for Roanoke City. Susan has been to our meeting as the speaker a couple times in the past and each time it has been fun. Susan really truly is a nice person and easy to talk to. I guess that’s a needed quality when you are the one who is in charge of determining the property values which directly relates to how much in taxes you are going to have to pay.

The city this year had a budget shortfall by 4 million dollars. They have rapidly grown in several of their departments and haven’t been able to keep up with it. As well as the last couple of pay raises they gave to every single city employee that cost millions.

The city is saying that the primary reason for the budget shortfall is due to a lack of sales tax. AKA business is hurting. Which leads to higher unemployment.

Now as we all know, the tax assessed values in most areas did not decrease in proportion of the loss we had after the bubble popped in 2008. And since then locally we have been skipping across the bottom. But it just so happens on the budget shortfall year…. from what I’m told….  this year, overall, the value of property went up. Susan I’m sure will have statistical information to verify this increase. It may have increased a very small amount. But it never was allowed to comparatively decrease after the housing crash so the city could continue to grow during times of economic despair for so many. 

Susan is also in charge the city GIS. She does an outstanding job with it. It’s far better than the surrounding areas however Roanoke County is quickly attempting to catch up. There have been some recent changes on the GIS which have some different functionality. Susan will also teach us how to get the most out of the city GIS, to do your research when looking for deals.

It’s going to be a fun meeting!

See you there...


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