CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In one of the better kept secrets in Charleston, City Council members voted Tuesday to raise your taxes.
They did it during a blink-and-you'll-miss-it special meeting, an annual affair known as the laying of the levies, in which council members officially set the city's tax rates for your personal (car or truck) and real (home) property.
And for the fourth time in the last five years, council raised the tax rates.
But before you call up your neighborhood council member, consider this: For a typical home with an assessed value of $100,000, your tax bill will rise exactly $1.
Also consider this, as city Finance Director Joe Estep pointed out: Despite those four tax increases, property tax rates in Charleston are actually 6.5 percent lower than they were in 2000.
That doesn't mean your tax bill is less than it was 14 years ago. Reappraisals by the Kanawha County Sheriff mean most residents are probably paying more.
In fact, the city of Charleston is expecting a $426,626 windfall this year in property tax collections, simply as a result of recent reappraisals, Estep said.
The higher tax rate will bring in an estimated $100,530 more this year; the extra $1 per home adds up.
Together, those two factors mean total property tax revenues for fiscal year 2013-14 will rise to $12.3 million. Behind business and occupation taxes, it's the second-largest source of income for the city.