The half-year installment of Floyd County real estate taxes comes due Friday, June 5. If you are paying by mail, the envelope must be postmarked no later than the due date.

Floyd County’s real estate taxes are lower than most areas of Virginia but we can expect to see a hike in what we pay once the re-assessments are complete.

Early reports say we can expect to see about a 45 percent hike in the value of land even though prices in actual sales don’t match that optimistic view of worth.  Sructure (home) values are expected to be around the same as four years ago with some seeing a slight increase.

Given that secenario, our real estate assessment will, no doubt, increase. If this happens it will be in direct conflict with what a private appraisal firm tells us our home and land are worth. We used a Roanoke firm to value our property when we bought it in 2004. Their valuation came in less than the county’s "official" appraisal the same year.

We asked the same firm to re-appraise our property late last year. Their appraisal showed a slight drop in value of both land and structure.  If the county’s appraisal from Wingate & Associates comes in higher we will appeal the judgment, as I expect many other county residents will do also.

For all practical purposes, Floyd County government — like most governments — is broke. So are many residents of the area. But as incomes fall, retirement plans shrink and 401ks fade into oblivion, the county can — and most likely will — find a way to collect more taxes from cash-strapped residents.