If you live in Prince William County, Virginia, you've probably received your 2009 real estate tax assessment in the mail. I hope you didn't pass out when you saw the 30% in the estimated tax value of your home.
Here are few things to make you feel better about the situation.
1. Prince William County over-assessed your home in 2008, thereby you were overtaxed.
2. This adjustement is about 10% lower, in most cases, than actual market value. (Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay for a home.) This won't be the case if our market continues to see declining value, but for now, that's the rule of thumb.
3. Don't be angry your assessment is low. Be glad that you are finally being taxed what the average, fair market value of your home will likely be for the year.
The County hasn't decided where to land on the new tax rate. However, the Board of County Supervisors has voted that the tax rate can not be increased any higher than $1.21 per hundred.