Real estate assessments up slightly in Fairfax County

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Fairfax County has reassessed the value of your home. Odds are that will mean an increase in your property tax.

The new assessments are in the mail to more than 350,000 property owners and the county says they’re up an average of 2.17 percent. That’s because a lot of property values have risen. County officials say that over the past year about 64.5 percent of residential properties have gone up that 2.17 percent. Non-residential properties have had a 3.79 percent boost.

If you don’t want to wait for the mail to arrive you can find your new assessment here.

The 2018 estimated tax levy that’s shown on your assessment is just that – an estimate. As required by state law, the estimated tax for 2018 is based on the 2018 assessment and the county’s 2017 tax rates. However, the Board of Supervisors hasn’t yet adopted the tax rates for 2018. So, the tax you’ll have to pay, based on your assessment, can only be an estimate until it does.

Here are some numbers from Fairfax County

Of the 353,904 taxable parcels in Fairfax County:

  • 259,444 have an assessment change
  • 94,460 have no assessment change

The breakdown of average home property assessments (averages are not necessarily indicative of individual properties or neighborhoods):

  • Countywide average for all homes – $547,219, up 2.17 percent
  • Single family-detached homes – $656,071, up 2.11 percent
  • Townhouse/duplex properties – $409,792, up 2.86 percent
  • Condominiums – $264,974, up 1.68 percent

Why might your assessment have changed?

Here are some reasons the county gives:

  • Sales in the neighborhood.
  • Economic factors such as average number of days homes have been for sale and sales volume.
  • Improvements to the property (remodeling, additions).
  • New construction and rezonings.
  • Property characteristics (such as size, age, condition and amenities).

If you think your assessment is wrong

Here’s the process, as outlined by Fairfax County:

Appeals should be based on either fair market value, lack of uniformity or errors in property description. Simply saying that the value has increased too much in a single year is not a legal basis for an appeal. Before filing an appeal, we encourage you to call and talk to Tax Administration staff at 703-222-8234 (TTY 711) or send an inquiry by email.

If you still wish to file an appeal, property owners may begin with an administrative appeal. Property owners are encouraged to file this appeal as early as possible. New this year, all administrative appeal applications must be postmarked by May 1 or filed online by midnight (EST) of May 1. No administrative appeals will be accepted after this date. Both non-residential and residential property appeals may be submitted in writing to the Real Estate Division, but only residential assessment appeals can be initiated online. You can download appeal applications online or call the DTA office to obtain a copy.

Real Estate appeals can also be filed with the Board of Equalization (BOE). The BOE conducts formal hearings and considers sworn testimony. BOE appeal forms are available online or by calling the BOE office at 703-324-4891 (TTY 711). By law, all appeals to the BOE must be filed and postmarked by June 1.

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About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.