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Board of Equalization
Real Estate Assessment Appeal Process
The City of Fredericksburg Board of Equalization for 2016 will convene to hear appeals from property owners concerning the most recent general property assessment. The Code of Virginia Section 58.1-3370, and the sections that follow, describe the powers and duties of the Board concerning appeals of the results of the assessment. The Board met on August 22, 2016 for administrative organization, including election of officers and setting initial appeal hearing dates.
In order to appeal a property assessment before the Board of Equalization, the appeal application must be received no later than October 17, 2016. Before a change can be granted, the taxpayer must overcome a clear presumption in favor of the assessment. The taxpayer must prove that the property is NOT uniform with other similar properties or prove that the property is assessed in excess of its fair market value.
Please complete the Application Form (PDF) and return it no later than October 17, 2016 to the Real Estate Department. You will be contacted about a hearing date.
October 18 9 - 11 a.m.
October 25 6 - 8 p.m.
November 1 9 - 11 a.m.
November 7 9 - 11 a.m.
November 15 9 - 11 a.m.
November 29 3 - 5 p.m.
December 5 9 - 11 a.m.
December 6 6 - 8 p.m.
In accordance with the Code of Virginia, the City of Fredericksburg has undergone a general reassessment of all real property, in which each property is assessed at 100% of the estimated fair market value as of July 1, 2016. The last City-wide reassessment was effective July 1, 2012.
The generally accepted definition of market value is the most probable price a property will bring when it is offered for sale by one who desires, but is not obliged, to sell it, and bought by one who is under no necessity of having it. The primary goal of the reassessment process is to assess properties at 100% of market value and in doing so assure that assessments are uniformly applied so that the real estate tax levy is equitable among all property owners according to the value of their property.
Real estate assessments may increase or decrease due to a variety of reasons including changes in economic conditions, structural changes, land divisions, and re-zonings.
The real estate tax is based on the July 1 assessed value and a real estate tax rate is determined annually by the City of Fredericksburg City Council.
- Many homeowners pay City of Fredericksburg real estate tax as part of their monthly mortgage payment. Their mortgage company then sends the homeowner's tax payment directly to the City Treasurer's Office.
- Homeowners whose monthly mortgage payments do not include escrow for real estate taxes, and those who no longer have a mortgage, pay their real estate taxes directly to the City. City real estate taxes are billed on the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30. They are billed in two equal installments due November 15 and May 15.
- Some elderly and/or permanently disabled homeowners may be eligible for tax relief. See the Commissioner of the Revenue page for details or call the Commissioner's office at 540-372-1207.
If you are not satisfied with the determination of the assessor, you may appeal to the Board of Equalization. You may also appeal to the Board of Equalization even if an appeal has not been made to the assessor. If you are still not satisfied with the determination of the Board of Equalization, the only remaining option is to petition the Circuit Court in accordance with Section 58.1-3984 of the Code of Virginia. In all cases it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to provide documentation as to why their assessment should be changed. This may include:
- A correction to the description or improvements as listed on the property records;
- A comparison of assessments in your general area for properties that have physical features similar to your property;
- A list of recently sold comparable homes in your neighborhood, or the listing price of comparable homes that are for sale in your neighborhood. If there are no such homes in your neighborhood, a list of comparable homes in a comparable neighborhood may be presented;
- A recent appraisal of your property.
Timeline of process:
September 2015 to April 2016 – Assessor field work to inspect properties in the City of Fredericksburg
May 2016 – Assessment notices mailed out
May - June 2016 – Assessment hearings held
July 2016 – City Council will begin establishing the Board of Equalization which will hear additional requests from property owners regarding property assessments
August 2016 – Circuit Court approves Board of Equalization candidates
Board of Equalization members receive training
October 2016 – Board of Equalization will begin hearing citizen's cases
October 17, 2016 – Deadline for filing an appeal with the Board of Equalization
December 2016 – Board of Equalization closes hearings
Thereafter – Citizens who still wish to appeal their assessments may come before the Circuit Court
For more information contact the Commissioner of the Revenue - Real Estate Office at (540) 372-1207.