In the current controversy over increased real estate assessments in Augusta County, you must look east - blame Albemarle County.
Look around exit 94 in Waynesboro. There's a Home Depot, because Albemarle County rejected one on 29 north. There's a new Wal-Mart and a slew of businesses around that. We already have a Wal-Mart just off I-81 in Staunton, but this is closer to the people of Western Albemarle.
All these businesses built in 2003 to 2007 raised the base for land values in the rest of the county. Even those areas far from the interstate and access to Charlottesville and Albemarle.
We have our growth areas in Fishersville, due in part to Charlottesville and Albemarle filling up their growth areas. Lots of people travel over Afton Mountain to Charlottesville to work, and people moving here to find cheaper housing makes land more expensive.
Overall, I don't think the assessments are that far off base. For mid-2007. Times changed faster than anybody expected.