Pattie throws hat into ring in North River
Redoing the controversial 2009 Augusta County reassessment might not lead to a result that is embraced by everybody, “but it at least it would be a fair-market value,” said Marshall Pattie, a James Madison University business professor who this month announced his candidacy for the North River seat on the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.
“I think a lot of people feel that there wasn’t fair-market value when the reassessment was done,” said Pattie, 34, citing his own personal example of receiving a property assessment in 2009 that was 10 percent higher than what he had paid for his property a few months before the notice came in the mail.
County leaders compounded the problem by lowering the tax rate to compensate for the artificially high assessments. Declining state revenues based on a reworking of state funding formulas for the county in the wake of the reassessments will translate into a double-whammy for Augusta. “That may be substantial. It may be hundreds of thousands of dollars that we have to cut out of our budget due to that decision,” Pattie said.
A consultant to several Fortune 500 companies, Pattie was outspoken in his criticism of the Board of Supervisors in the ’09 reassessment discussions because he said what he witnessed in those discussions was “a process that didn’t make a lot of sense.”
“I saw a lot of supervisors making decisions that were based on their feelings, not on any facts or statistics,” Pattie said. “What I want to do is use my business background to help that process along, look at statistics, look at rational thought, look at some support in order to make decisions, as opposed to just going along with it unless people get upset with them.”
The incumbent supervisor in the North River District is Republican Larry Howdyshell, who hasn’t tipped his hand as to his plans for a possible run at re-election in November. Pattie, for his part, is running as an independent.
“Myself and many people in the area are fed up with political parties and taking out their battlegrounds with the rest of us. We really just want to work and focus on the issues that matter to us, not necessarily the issues that matter to people in California or New England or Alabama,” Pattie said.
Story and video by Chris Graham