RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
The land value of Mayor Dwight Jones' home dropped more than $60,000 in one year. But his next door neighbor's land value dropped significantly less.
The home next door is owned by the Boone Family. The land that the two houses sit on is close to the same size.
However this year, the value of the Mayor's land dropped by more than 60 percent, meaning the mayor would be paying significantly less in real estate taxes.
Mayor Jones' property is roughly 148,000 square feet. The property belonging to the Boones is smaller at roughly 139,000 square feet.
According to city records, the Mayor's land value was $104,000 last year. The Boones' was $97,000.
But this year that all changed. The Boones' property value dropped to $95,000 but the Mayor's property plummeted to $40,000.
"It looks like it's not right to me. I appreciate you bringing it to our attention, and I really do," says Richmond City Assessor James Hester, adding that every appraisal is checked and verified at least three times before being certified. The Mayor's assessment has been certified and has even been billed to the mayor.
With the much lower tax assessment, the mayor's real estate tax bill would have been hundreds of dollars cheaper.
"We're going to investigate it," Hester says. "I'll have to give this to the appraisal supervisor and we will discuss it with the appraiser and see what the explanation is."
ABC 8News stopped by the mayor's office to ask him if he knew why there was a $64,000 drop in his tax assessment value. We were told by his press secretary we would have to take those questions to the City Assessor.
Raymond Boone-"No, it doesn't [look like the value is even]," says Raymond Boone. "It looks, as I said before, questionable and deserves research to find out what happened."
Right now it is unclear if the mayor knew anything about the drop in his land value, but he has already been billed at the lower tax rate.
Stay with ABC 8News for more in this developing story.Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond