The Examiner ran a fascinating story about the exotic homes in McLean area in Fairfax County (one of the richest parts of Fairfax County, which is one of the richest counties in the United States.) in November last year, by Adam Seigal, who lives in McLean but he says, is neither rich nor famous,. It includes a welter of detail about homes in the area ..
Fairfax County is not fairly applying real estate assessment rules says Seigal, when it comes to luxury homeowners. Non-luxury homes seem to be assessed far closer to actual sales prices, while tax assessments for many of the county’s high-end homes are far lower than the required “100 percent of the estimated fair market value.”
"For example, on Jan. 12, 2000, Vice President Richard B. Cheney bought a property for $1.35 million on Chain Bridge Road, one of the top-end streets in McLean . The 2006 assessment is $1.045 million — or less than 80 percent of what the Cheneys paid for the home."Nearby he brings up the details of one of the Bush family's firmest friends and was US Secretary of Defense 1987/89 - to be followed by his near neighbour Dick Cheney, he is associated with the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) ....
For example , Carlyle Group chairman (1992-2003) Frank Carlucci’s (77) home on Crest Lane is assessed at $340,080 — less than $14,000 higher than it was assessed in 2000 during a period in which the community saw a 10 to 20 percent annual growth in real estate prices.
One might have expected the value of Carlucci’s five-bedroom, 6.5-bath, three-fireplace home to have easily doubled rather than falling behind the general inflation rate. This 2,292-square-foot property also has a tennis court, pool and garage."
Seigal contrasts this with his own four-bedroom, three-bath, 1,695-square-foot home is assessed at $351,780 which is he says is a lovely home but has no tennis court, pool or garage.
Seigal quotes several similar under-assessments...the homes of former Secretary of State Colin Powell (whose appraised value is roughly 50 percent of comparable sales prices in the neighborhood), and Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.
He also reports that , former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and world class chess player, faced a rather public discussion over the county’s desire to buy a 240-foot strip of land to build a pedestrian path. The county offered Brzezinski $19,000 for an easement, basing the bid on the $1.7 million appraisal.
Read more ....
Pic ...Secretary of State Colin Powell (right) talks with former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger (left) while former Defense Secretary and near neighbour Frank Carlucci (with the shades) looks on. The three statesmen were attending a Full Honors Ceremony Jan. 26, 2001, at the Pentagon.