NORTHERN VIRGINIA TAX ASSESSMENTS

Property Tax Assessment FAQ

FAQs About Northern VA Tax Assessments 

What is a real estate assessment? All assessments of real property, including land and permanently affixed structures, are based on fair market value and are equitable with the assessments of comparable properties. Title 58.1-3201 of the Code of Virginia provides for the assessment of real property at 100% of fair market value. Fair market value is the probable amount a property would sell for today if exposed to the market for a reasonable period of time.
Who assesses the property and how is property value determined? Each locality has an assessor who estimates the value of the property. The assessed value of property is part of the equation that determines how much a homeowner pays in real estate taxes. The assessor does not determine the local tax rate. The assessor determines the value of a homeowner’s property by looking at the physical characteristics like square footage of land and improvements made to the structure like adding a garage. Another factor the assessor uses to determine value is location of the property. It is important to remember that the assessment is an estimation of value that is determined through sales, income, or cost data. Sometimes an individual appraisal is necessary if properties cannot be analyzed through mass appraisal.
What causes real estate assessments to increase or decrease? There are a variety of reasons that can result in an increase or decrease. Some include: changes in economic conditions; changes in the property such as structural damage or additions like a new bedroom or garage; land divisions; and re-zonings.
How does the assessment affect what I pay in property taxes? Real estate taxes are calculated by multiplying the property’s assessed value by the real estate tax rate. The real estate tax rate is determined locally.
What is the difference between sales price, appraisals, and assessments? Sale price is the price a buyer pays for a particular property. An appraisal is a detailed single property valuation and a private appraisal may be obtained any time throughout the year. Appraisals have a variety of purposes, for example, mortgage loan, sale, home equity loan, and estate valuations. An assessment is a mass appraisal of property for tax purposes. Assessments are based on large numbers of sales that are analyzed to determine values for large groups of similar properties.
Appealing Northern VA Tax Assessments Appeal NVA Tax Assessments Most Virginia counties and cities publish information about real estate assessments online. Click on your locality to learn about property tax assessments where you live. http://www.vahomeownersalliance.com/pages/real-estate-assessment-information-by-locality http://www.vahomeownersalliance.com/pages/real-estate-assessment-guide   *Updated information on Virginia.gov

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