Board puts off camp’s tax-break request

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County supervisors held off on giving a tax break Tuesday to a church campground.

The Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 at its regular meeting to defer by Shenandoah Meadows Inc. for an exemption from the local real estate tax on the campground property in Fort Valley.

The 40-acre property at 443 Meadow View Lane, last assessed at $704,500 for the land and improvements, generates $3,654 in tax revenue at the 2015 rate of 57 cents per $100 of the value. The property would generate $4,508 at the proposed rate of 64 cents per $100 of the assessed value.

The decision to postpone action on the request also comes as the board considers a fiscal 2017 budget with proposed increases in the tax rates on real estate and personal property. At least three supervisors have expressed publicly that they will not support a tax increase even if leaving the rates alone would result in a loss of revenue. Real estate values dropped on average in the latest reassessments and the county would need to increase the tax rate from 57 cents to 60 cents per $100 of assessed value just to regain the lost revenue.

State code allows the county to classify property as tax exempt by the adoption of an ordinance based on a series of questions answered by the owner. The nonprofit organization runs the campground for the Brethren Church group.

Supervisor Cindy Bailey made the motion to defer action on the request for an indefinite period of time.

“I know several of us have expressed interest in seeing Shenandoah Meadows do more community outreach,” Bailey said, adding that members would like to see the organization’s latest tax filings. “They’re very new to this.”

The board discussed the request at a work session in February. At a March 22 public hearing, several neighbors of the campground voiced concern about traffic and noise that the facility generates now and in the future.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com