This Sunday I was reading in the Virginian Pilot a story that may effect Norfolk’s elderly and disabled who receive a discount on Real Estate taxes. For many years qualifying Norfolk residents were able to get a discount on thier Real Estate taxes in amounts from 20%-100 % depending on income and eligibility . Im sure this was a welcome relief to the elderly and those disabled who are on fixed incomes. Norfolk has tallied up the loss and realized this discount has grown from 2.1 million in 2000 to about 7.5 million. That is a huge amount of revenue being offered as discounts to the community.
Starting this July 1 there will be a cap on the discount of 6 million combined. How will this effect people ? If you are currently getting 100% tax relief you will be safe. This change will effect people who qualify for a partial relief of the taxes. There are no 100% decisions just yet and the criteria is still being worked out.
Here are some current guidelines currently being used on income limits
income limit of 67k
net worth limit 350k
The argument is if someone who has a net worth of 350k needs to get a tax relief that seems a bit odd. After all you have money in the bank and your get a tax relief ? Its questions like this that are being looked at.
Norfolk is not the only city who has adjusted this. Suffolk also had some adjustments on tax relief. You only have relief on the tax value up to $207200.
I think on the surface and not knowing all the details I have to agree if you have $350k in assets why are you getting a relief on taxes ? This is for the poor or disabled to assist them making ends meet. I know in my house I have to sell or stop spending if i cannot afford something . We all have to cut some where at some point.
Inspiration for this commentary Virginia pilot 6-17-2012 edition Hampton roads Edition by Jillian Nolan