Skip to main content

ARE YOU FAIRLY TAXED?

ARE YOU FAIRLY TAXED ON YOUR HOME IN NORFOLK, VA?

Are the political elite, possibly, getting a break that you and I are not?

Take a look at this video and see how you can find out.

It would seem, from outward appearance, that the Current, Appointed, Commissioner of the Revenue has received a 17% reduction in her real estate taxes since she started working in the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office.

Where we saw a substantial rise in our real estate taxes, anywhere from about 5% to 10%, this year, hers only went up 1.6%.

 

Questions to the Current Commissioner of the Revenue, that might interest you as well:

1) Why did my real estate tax assessments go up 6.8%, my land assessment 25.4%, and yours only rose 1.6%; less than a quarter of mine?

2) Why is it that the city assessed value of your mansion went down for three years, dropping 17%, and creating a huge difference between the fair market and city's assessed value, during a housing boom?

3) This year’s rise in real-estate taxes was one of the highest in years, happening directly after you were appointed COR, how come you were not as affected as most of us were with higher taxes?

4) When was the last time the Commissioner of the Revenues office was fully audited by the commonwealth?
         - Once elected that will be my first priority.

 

Did you get the same breaks that the Current Commissioner of the Revenue received?

I encourage you to look up your taxes online at: air.norfolk.gov, and find out.

If you have any questions, here is the contact information you need:

- Main Phone: (757) 664-7890
- Main Email: blythe.scott@norfolk.gov
- Commissioners Assistant Phone: (757) 664-7889
- CA Email: NorfolkCOR@norfolk.gov

 

ARTICLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Oct. 28, 2021

NORFOLK’s POLITICALLY APPOINTED COMMISSIONER GOT 17% REDUCTION IN TAXES FROM HER SAME PARTY-CONTROLLED BOARD OF EQUALIZATION

Blythe Scott’s mansion in Ghent was one of only 20 properties that got tax assessment reductions from Board in 2019

NORFOLK VA – Blythe Scott, the politically appointed Commissioner of the Revenue of Norfolk, and Democrat-endorsed candidate in the Nov. 2 election, received a big decrease in her property assessment in 2019 on a $1.3 million mansion in the Ghent section by appealing to the Board of Equalization, which is controlled by her party affiliates.

Scott was deputy commissioner at the time the Board cut her real property assessment.  She was appointed to Commissioner in April 2021 by elected Democrat-endorsed Evans Posten, who resigned to take a job with the influential law/lobbying firm McGuire Woods.  Scott then appointed as her deputy, Charles Stanton, who is current chairman of the Norfolk Democratic Committee.

The Commissioner of the Revenue, which administers the personal property tax and business, professions and occupancy tax (BPOL), earns $178,000 a year.  Posten’s father was an appointed Circuit Judge from the same party.  

The Circuit Court of 8 judges appoints the three citizens on the Board of Equalization, and all the judges are aligned with Scott’s party, as are the current members of the Board of Equalization – which also is called the Real Estate Assessments Board Of Review.   

“While thousands of Norfolk residents and businesses saw dramatic increases in their property taxes, my opponent got a huge tax reduction from a favorable Board of Equalization, while others were denied,” said Adam Goldberg, independent candidate for Commissioner in the Nov. 2 election. “We need to bust up the political machine that runs City Hall and have a fresh independent set of eyes on the books, and I would be honored if the voters of Norfolk give me that chance to be their ‘tax watchdog’.”

According to records obtained by the Goldberg campaign, the assessed value of Scott’s mansion on Redgate Avenue, Norfolk, value dropped $175,900 in 2018, decreased $19,200 in 2019, and again was lowered $18,600 in 2020.  This was also during a time that other houses in the city were seeing a 2%-5% increase in taxes, he said.

It was not until the tax assessment in 2021, and her announcement that she is running for the office, “that there was a token raise in her property taxes,” Goldberg added.

Looking at www.redfin.com  Scott’s home is assessed at $1.3 million, but her current city assessed value for taxes is $990,400.  Assessed at $1,188,000 at the time she purchased it, her property taxes have dropped about 17% since becoming a city employee.  

Further random selection of other properties in the city air.norfolk.gov, showed a disparaging range of tax increases this year from 5% and 10% increases where Scott’s mansion only rose 1.6%.    

Scott was only one of 20 property owners who succeeded at her appeal to the Board of Equalization to drop her taxes and “it should be apparent to voters that her notoriety as Deputy Commissioner may have played a part,” he said. 

Blythe's Mansion
Blythe Scott’s mansion

The assessor’s annual report for 2019 shows: 

Type               Filed        Withdrawn        Heard


Apartments       40              13                  27
Commercial      40               6                   34
Industrial           1                 0                  1
Residential 
      Condos       2                0                    1
Residential       24               7                   17
TOTAL             107             26                  81

The report states: “Of these 81 appeals heard, 60 were sustained, 20 were awarded reductions, and 1 was awarded an increase. At the direction of the Board, no value changes were posted in the system until the conclusion of the hearings in late August. This resulted in net additions/reductions being made to the published Land Book in the amount of -$11,689,300." https://www.norfolk.gov/291/Real-Estate-Assessor 

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Goldberg received a PDF of Scott’s appeal, and no other evidence to back up her request for a reduction was provided.

The Scotts justified the reduction as follows: “The assessment is too high.  It has gone up since last year even though we have made no improvements and many of the houses in the area are not selling and have been sitting on the market even though their asking price has been lowered repeatedly. I would not list the house for the amount assessed because it does not reflect the fair market value.

The Scott’s claimed the land is worth $330,000 and building $680,000, total $990,000 and the Board agreed.  Meanwhile, comparable properties in Ghent and other parts of Norfolk saw increases, Goldberg charged.

“This is just another example why Norfolk residents need a ‘tax watchdog’ in City Hall who can provide effective oversight, and not someone beholden to the Boss Run City Machine of the political elite,” Goldberg, a retired Navy Lt. Cdr, said.   “With my 25 years in management and leadership, and my financial background, I feel I am prime for that job.”

Although the Commissioner of the Revenue does not review real property assessments, Goldberg vowed if elected Nov. 2 to seek “a detailed study of how property is assessed because there are wealthy parts of the city where real property taxes have dropped while increases are seen in less wealthy areas.”  He also will scrutinize who is winning and losing before the Board of Equalization.

Visit https://goldbergfornorfolk.com/Fair-taxes to watch the video about Ms. Scott’s taxes and her appointment of Stanton as her deputy.

See attachments – Scott appeal, tax record and Redfin.com entry.
 

Supporting Documents

Scott's Request for lower assessment
Scott's Request for lower assessment
COR Taxes Assessment off of Air.Norfolk.Gov
The Current Commissioner of the Revenue’s real estate report from the city’s website air.norfolk.gov
COR Mansion Value Off Of REDFIN.COM
Real estate assessment of the Current Commissioner of the Revenue’s mansion from www.RedFin.com, dated July 22, 2021 (21 days after the assessed taxable value was reported by the city)