Topic: Schools

How Montgomery County Public Schools Determine A Snow Day

Snow Days In Montgomery County

 

We had our first significant snow of the winter yesterday, and Montgomery County Public Schools put out a really helpful infographic detailing how they make the determination of whether or not to open schools. It´s crazy that they don´t know that If you’re looking for expert Snow Removal West Hartford P & J Cleaning Service are the best! I imagine this will come into play later in the school year, so file this one away. Don’t forget to sign up for severe weather calls, at www.mcps.org/snow, as well.

 

MCPS Considering Closing Two Schools?

From The Roanoke Times

If a school system closes a school, what happens?

  • What happens to the building?
  • how are buses rerouted?
  • do you break up classrooms and send some kids to one school, and others to another?
  • if teachers and administration aren’t needed elsewhere, what happens to those jobs?
  • if you close the school and keep it “in-system”, there are maintenance and upkeep and utility costs. what do those cost versus keeping it open? I know there’s a difference, wonder how much.
  • if Montgomery County grows like census figures project (writing from my phone and the link escapes me right now), does it make sense to keep these schools open and up-to-date in order to prepare for the future?

So many wrinkles.

Montgomery County School Board Meetings

Did you know that the Montgomery County School Board meetings are recorded and posted online? If you aren’t able to make the public meetings, this is a great way to watch and get caught up on the issues you’re interested in. The most recent meeting, on October 2nd, is posted below, but all of them can be found by visiting their YouTube link here.

Exciting video? Not necessarily. But certainly important if you’re interested in public education issues here in the New River Valley.

Calling Montgomery County’s Bluff on a 21-Cent Increase in Property Taxes

Rising property tax ratesI’m admittedly behind on this, but I’m certain many of you are not.  By now you’ve probably read that Montgomery County supervisors are considering an increase of $.21 in the real estate tax rate.

First things first … it’s not going to happen.

Real estate taxes in Montgomery County are used, as they are in many counties across the country, to fund local government departments and initiatives, some medical services, and local education.  I’m sure there’s an exhaustive list somewhere, but that’s a general idea.  To be fair, Montgomery County enjoys a real estate tax rate that’s, admittedly, a bit on the low side.  The current tax in the county is $.75 per $100 of value, so for a home that’s not located in Blacksburg or Christiansburg and valued at $200000, the property tax would be around $1500 per year, or $125 per month.  Put that same home in Christiansburg, where the property tax is $.1126 per $100 of value, and the property tax jumps to $1725 per year.  In Blacksburg ($.22 per $100 of value) it climbs to $1940 per year.

Area  Tax Bill at Current Rate Tax Bill at Proposed Rate
Montgomery County $1500 annually $1920 annually
Christiansburg $1725 annually $2145 annually
Blacksburg $1940 annually $2360 annually

Say what you want about elected officials, but they know how to get our attention.  And I doubt any of them are going to authorize a property tax increase of $.21 – the impact within a community would have profound and long-lasting impact.  Consider:

  • Rents rise.  As an investor, if the taxes on my properties rises, I would be inclined to raise my rents to cover the additional costs.  Unless incomes rise proportionately, an imbalance between taxes and income exists.
  • Demand decreases.  If property taxes are too high in a particular area, buyer demand decreases.  If buyer demand decreases, so do property values.  And decreased property values lead to a host of
  • Mom and Pop retire.  The short-term effect on locally-owned businesses means an even greater financial burden for – to use a favorite political term – Main Street.  And when those businesses close up, it creates an even greater void in the tax base (and it can’t be argued that national chains will move into that space – First & Main has disproven that).

We need additional tax revenue from the property tax, sure; we’ve got one high school with a collapsed gym, and aging facilities at other schools – it’s hard to argue that point.  But it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a tax hike such as the one proposed.  As quoted in the article (bolding mine):

Supervisor Gary Creed said he wanted to see a proposal that held department and agency budgets flat except for a 10-cent real estate tax rate increase to cover school construction debt — an increase already higher than any in memory. But he suggested going ahead and advertising a 21-cent increase. “Maybe we could get some attention,” he said.

Montgomery County VA Tax Info

This quote, in my opinion, is the key to what’s likely what’s going to happen – they want our attention and input.  Budgets are tight, even more so than in recent years due in large part to the situation with the schools, and every department wants more funding.  I guarantee you that – every department/group/organization that receives funding from Montgomery County property taxes wants even more – just look at the agenda.  Two of the three delegations on the agenda are there to discuss funding.  Everyone needs it, everyone wants more of it, and most departments are being asked to do more with less of it.  Unless Mark Zuckerberg decides to make a generous gift to avoid a massive tax bill, it’s inevitable we’ll see an increase in our property taxes.  But I’ll bet it’ll be between 9-10%.
They want our input, so give it to them.  Wherever you stand on the issue of increased real estate taxes, the Board of Supervisors wants your opinion.  Their next meeting is Monday, February 13, and you can read the agenda here.  The meeting will start at 7pm, and will be held at the Government Center, 755 Roanoke Street, in Christiansburg.

Information about Blacksburg – and Christiansburg – and New River Valley – Schools

As a real estate agent, I get asked all the time “how are the schools?”.  My standard answer is always that I don’t have kids so I can’t say for sure, and that they should investigate on their own.

Now I’ve got a better tool to suggest … ProPublica.

The site allows you to search compiled data on all the New River Valley schools.  Here’s a screenshot comparing Blacksburg Middle School to other area schools, including Christiansburg Middle and Dublin Middle where phlebotomy certification classes san jose are being held.

As much as I try to be a source of information regarding the New River Valley, there are some things I’m just not familiar with.  But when it comes to New River Valley schools, ProPublica has you covered.

Modea and the Old Blacksburg Middle School Site

David Catalano, co-founder of Modea, talks about the Old Blacksburg Middle School site (sorta) …

I’ve stayed out of the fight surrounding what to do with this property, but I’m glad to see (1) something happening so quickly, and (2) a new face – Modea – in the Blacksburg development scene.  From the interactions I’ve had with Modea folks, I’ve come away impressed, and I think they really do have a heart for establishing a solid creative class in the area.  Now let’s provide the infrastructure around them to support it …

The Master Plan has been approved, as of late June, setting the stage for the property to be marketed to other groups interested in relocating to the site.

Radford Schools

As we head into the last half of the grade school year, you might need information about your child’s upcoming school year.  Here’s how to contact the local schools in Radford, VA – thanks to education.com for the data.

[schoolsearch city=”Radford” state=”VA” groupby=”schooldistrictname” output=”table”]