It looks like your property taxes will be going down:
Prince William County homeowners, at ground zero of the local foreclosure crisis, would receive the biggest reduction in property tax bills in the Washington suburbs under a measure approved yesterday.
Most local governments are raising tax rates to offset the effects of the sagging housing market. The Prince William Board of County Supervisors also is moving to raise the property tax rate. But because home values in the county have fallen 32 percent, the average bill for Prince William homeowners will drop at least $435 — underscoring what one county leader called a political distinction.
After debating several proposals, Prince William supervisors agreed on an advertised tax rate of $1.212 per $100 of assessed value. That is 24 cents higher than the current rate. But the tax bill for an average $240,000 house would be almost 13 percent less. The advertised rate, a preliminary step, sets a cap for the year. Supervisors may lower the rate but not raise it.
Prince William’s proposed rate is higher than any other in Northern Virginia except Loudoun County’s. But officials say the average residential tax bill in Prince William would be about $1,400 less than in Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties.
This is welcome news and I’ll take it as such, but I must admit that the raising of the tax rate is worrisome only because one wonders if they’ll really lower it when assessments start going back up again.