Nov 17, 2022 - Real Estate

The biggest winners of Richmond's real estate tax rebate

Illustration of a one hundred dollar bill with a returned to sender stamp on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A one-time real estate tax rebate is poised to sail through Richmond City Council, with seven of nine members now officially on board with the plan.

What’s happening: The rebate amounts to just over a 4% reduction on this year’s tax bill, which means the average homeowner can expect a check for about $175 in the mail.

The intrigue: City leaders are selling the program as a way to help struggling homeowners, but the plan made us wonder: Who are the city’s biggest real estate taxpayers and what kind of checks are they likely to receive?

  • Here’s who tops the list, according to our analysis of city records:

1. Philip Morris, the city’s largest single taxpayer with a major cigarette manufacturing facility in South Richmond.

  • Total bill: $9 million.
  • Rebate: $378,000.

2. Dominion Energy, with its gleaming new downtown office tower and lowkey riverfront digs.

  • Total bill: $4.4 million.
  • Rebate: $184,000.

3. Developers Louis Salomonsky and David White, who appear to control the most valuable portfolio of housing in the city.

  • Total bill: $4.3 million.
  • Rebate: $181,000.

4. The Monument Companies, the developers behind Cary Street Station and 8th & Main.

  • Total bill: $2.4 million.
  • Rebate: $102,000.

5. Thalhimer, a development and real estate firm that’s part of the team that won the contract to build the Diamond District.

  • Total bill: $2.4 million.
  • Rebate: $99,000.

Bringing up the rear: Hertz Investment Group, owners of Riverfront Plaza ($102,000 rebate); for-profit hospital chain HCA Health ($87,000 rebate); Spy Rock Real Estate Group, which owns four apartment complexes in Scott’s Addition ($83,000); Riverstone Properties, owners of the James Center ($81,000); and Seminole Trail Management, the owners of Southwood Apartments ($81,000).

The bottom line: Together, the 10 companies will receive about 8% of the $18 million total the city plans to rebate through the program.

🧮 Be smart: Property owners can calculate the size of their own checks by dividing their total assessment by 100 and multiplying that by .05.

Worth noting: For companies with real estate portfolios spread across many limited liability corporations — a common business practice — this analysis only includes holdings that share a mailing address with their parent company.

What they’re saying: When he introduced the program, Mayor Levar Stoney lamented that under state law there was no way for the city to target the program to the city’s neediest residents.

  • To change that, he says the city will ask state lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment, which would need to be approved by the General Assembly twice and then go to voters for a referendum — far from a sure thing.

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