Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Assessments to be Mailed

<bt>The 2006 real property assessment notices will reflect Loudoun County's solid real estate market, said Todd Kaufman, Loudoun County real estate assessor, in a press release.

Sale prices of existing area homes in Loudoun County continue to increase at a pace often exceeding 25 percent. The median residential assessed value increase is approximately 28 percent with some changes greater or less than that figure. Estimates pertaining to increases are based on a statistical study comparing the 2004 sales inventory to the 2005 sales inventory.

The Assessor's Office anticipates the mailing of the 2006 assessment notices to take place in mid-February. The assessment notice indicates the appeal procedures for those owners who wish to have their assessments reviewed. The notice also provides information regarding programs such as land use and tax relief for the elderly and disabled.

The Code of Virginia requires that reassessments be made at 100 percent of fair market value. The date of value is Jan. 1 of each tax year.

Sales which occur prior to Jan. 1, are adjusted to accurately reflect the value of the real estate as of Jan. 1. Real property tax bills are based on the real property assessment and the real property tax rate. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors sets the real property tax rate each year during the budget process.

<sh>Deadline Approaches

<bt>The filing extension deadline for applications in the Loudoun County Land Use Assessment Program is March 1, for the 2006 assessment year.

Applications require the normal filing fee and late filing and extension fees of $30 each. Late filing fees and extension filing fees are in addition to any normal application fee required under county ordinances.

An application must be filed to qualify a property in the Land Use Assessment Program. An application is required when the use of acreage of a previously qualified property changes for any reason.

Contact he Department of Management and Financial Services, Office of the Assessor of Real Estate, at 703-777-0290. Information on the program is also available on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/finserv.

<sh>Needing a Home

<bt>A Loudoun County Animal Care Control team has returned to the county with 11 dogs and puppies made homeless by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The 11 dogs and puppies are currently in foster homes in order to allow them time to adjust from some very stressful and disruptive circumstances, including their long journey to Virginia. These foster-care providers will have the first opportunity to adopt their foster pets.

Dogs that are not being adopted by their foster families will be made available for adoption from the Loudoun County Animal Shelter beginning Saturday, Feb. 18.

Visit www.loudoun.gov/animals or call 703-777-0406.

The Loudoun County Animal Shelter is located at 39820 Charles Town Pike, Waterford.

<sh>Town Hall Meeting

<bt>Del. Chuck Caputo (D-67) will be hosting his second town hall meeting at Chantilly Library, 4000 Stringfellow Road, Chantilly, Saturday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m.-noon. Special guests will be Capt. Amy Lubas, commander, Fair Oaks District Station and Capt. Susan Culin, commander, Sully District Station from the Fairfax County Police Department. All are welcome. Questions can be directed to Lu Ann Maciulla McNabb, legislative aide, at LA@delegatecaputo.com or 703-543-7268.

<sh>Bank Robber Sentenced

<bt>A Leesburg man was sentenced to 10 years in

prison Monday for the July robbery of a Loudoun bank.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Joseph Kevin Holland, 35, was arrested in August and charged with the armed robbery of the Corporate America Family Credit Union located in the 45200 block of Business Court in Sterling.

Holland pleaded guilty to walking into a bank July 8, 2005, shortly before 9 a.m. Wearing a ski mask, Holland brandished a firearm and demanded money from more than one teller. He fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash.

A Loudoun Circuit Court Judge sentenced Holland to 30 years in prison with 20 years suspended. Part of the sentencing also requires Holland to pay $9,540 in restitution to the Corporate America Family Credit Union.

<sh>Accidental Fire

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office determined a fire that damaged a Sterling townhouse Saturday, Feb. 11, was accidental. The fire, which resulted in approximately $1,000 damage, was due to an unattended candle.

Around 10:22 p.m., Loudoun County Fire-Rescue received a 911 call for a structure fire in the 22300 block of Mayfield Square in Sterling.

First arriving units discovered a small fire on the second floor of the townhouse. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the room of origin, keeping damages to a minimum. There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident.

<sh>More Jail Time

<bt>A 27-year-old Manassas man was sentenced to three years in prison after he violated his probation that was part of a plea agreement in the 1995 murder of a Sterling woman.

According to the Sheriff's Office, James Louis Harris was arrested and convicted last year in Prince William County on multiple charges including drunk in public, destruction of property, trespassing, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and driving on a suspended license. The arrests and subsequent convictions were a violation of Harris' probation in a 2004 plea agreement, when he pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter of his grandmother Edith Wanzer of Sterling. Harris, who was 16 at the time, was initially indicted on first-degree murder charges in February of 1996 and convicted of voluntary manslaughter, however, the conviction was overturned on a technically. He would later plead guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter and in July 2004 Harris was sentenced to seven years with six years and eight months suspended. This takes into account the previous three years that he served under the vacated case. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Judge Chamblin revoked three years of his six-year and eight-month suspended sentence and extended his probation to three years upon his release from prison.