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Numbers, numbers, numbers

How about a quick hitter on home sales in the Greater Augusta region comparing sales prices in 2005 at the beginning of the period for the most recent reassessment in Augusta County to today at the end of the first quarter of 2009 when that reassessment was set into stone for the next four years?

I say quick hitter because it’s long since past the time that the reassessment issue has faded into the spotlight, even as bloggers on the left who have been critical of the efforts of Pastures Supervisor Tracy Pyles to raise issue with the findings in the reassessment have decided to try to give it legs in light of the vote of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors this week to approve a $72 million budget for 2009-2010 that is based on a 48-cent tax rate, a 10-cent decrease from the longstanding 58-cent rate passed in large part to ease the sting of assessed values up an average of 27 percent countywide.

The average sale price for a home in the Greater Augusta market in January 2005, according to the Virginia Association of Realtors website, was $171,751. The average sale price in the Greater Augusta market in the first quarter of 2009, again according to the Realtors group, was $182,956.

That’s an increase for the four-year period of $11,205, or 6.5 percent. Which is roughly a fourth of 27 percent.

The average sale price was at $194,148 in the fourth quarter of 2008, incidentally, meaning the local market tanked another 6 percent from the end of ’08 to the first quarter of ’09. Back in February when I came to my own conclusion as Pyles had his that the reassessment was off, it was a reflection of the numbers I had seen showing a 13 percent increase in assessed values from 2005 to 2008. We lost half that in the first three months of 2009.

And yet the tone-deaf continue singing their own praises in the name of political expediency …


– Story by Chris Graham

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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