Tuesday night was a busy night for the Board of Supervisors for Pittsylvania County.
The board agreed to conduct a national search for a new county administrator. From a press release by the county government released after the meeting:
“The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to initiate a national search process for the next Pittsylvania County Administrator. The motion, which was passed during the Board’s May 17 Business Meeting, directs County staff to initiate a national search as soon as practical. County staff will follow all relevant procurement laws in hiring a national search firm.”
The board also approved $205,303 for Wayside Bridge Repairs.
It approved the renaming of two bridges for two Virginia State Police Officers who died in the line of duty.
It also voted “to approve a contract with Pearson’s Appraisal Services, Inc. to complete the 2024 reassessment process. Work will begin in June with the goal of having updated values in place for real estate taxes in 2024. Based in Richmond, Pearson’s has provided real estate appraisal and assessment services across Virginia and North Carolina since 1981.”
“Per the contract, Pittsylvania County will pay a per-parcel assessment fee of $26. When spread over the County’s approximately 53,000 parcels, the reassessment project will cost about $1.38 million. Pearson Appraisals will also charge $39 per construction permit. The Board of Supervisors allocated funds to cover this project in the FY 23 budget, which was adopted in April and runs from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.”
“The Board of Supervisors voted in March to invalidate the results of the 2022 reassessment due to significant concerns that had emerged regarding the assessment’s statutory compliance, data integrity, and uniform/equitable application of values. The County issued a request for proposals for a new general County tax assessment soon afterward. For fiscal years 2023 and 2024, the County is utilizing real estate values from the 2018 reassessment.”
“The property values that Pearson assesses will go into effect for real estate tax bills in 2024. The company is expected to start work in June of 2022 and begin field visits in July, with the goal of visiting 3,700 properties monthly.”
“Pearson is scheduled to complete all appraisal and review services by September 2023. Reassessment notices are scheduled to be mailed to property owners in October of 2023, and hearings with the Board of Assessors are expected to take place in October and November of 2023. The Board of Equalization, which is an independent body appointed by the Board of Supervisors to hear and consider assessment appeals, is slated to meet between February and April 2024.”
“Legally required by the Commonwealth of Virginia, reassessment is when up-to-date property values are determined for an entire locality or municipality. Updated values are determined through photographs, aerial images, and observations from a trained crew of property assessors. There are many complicated formulas and factors involved in determining and updating property values, which are kept by the Commissioner of the Revenue.”
The board also voted 4-3 to have Jim Scearce, the brother of Supervisor Ronald Scearce, to serve as a member of the DDS board after he nominated him for this position. This is a controversial decision as he has spread disinformation and made baseless attacks against the Commissioner of Revenue Robin Goard. Supervisor Bob Warren said that he supported the nomination, because he believes it is wrong to go against the choice of another Supervisor for who he wants on a board to represent their district. That argument apparently swayed Supervisor Jesse Barksdale who surprised everyone by voting to approve the nomination.
Here is a video of the whole meeting below (or if that doesn’t work use this link here).
If you go to about the 1:01 mark you’ll see former Supervisor Elton Blackstock speak about the tax reassessment, the Commissioner of Revenue, and the wild attacks the Scearce brothers have made against her. After he spoke Anita Royston of the Pittsylvania County NAACP also gave a compelling statement about the Scearce nonsense, better than I could do.
Around the 1:42 mark the board discusses the Scearce nomination and votes on it.
At 2:03 the Commissioner of Revenue talks about the reassessment with the board and stands up to the fear, bullying games, and disinformation spewed by Supervisor Ronald Scearce.