In accordance with the Code of Virginia, the City of Fredericksburg is undergoing a general reassessment of all real property, in which each property is assessed at 100% of the estimated fair market. The last City-wide reassessment was effective July 1, 2016.
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.
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION APPEALS PROCESS
If you are not satisfied with the determination of the assessor after our next general reassessment in 2020 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;
- The listing price of comparable homes that were for sale in your neighborhood at the time of the reassessment. If there were no such homes in your neighborhood, a list of comparable homes in a comparable neighborhood at the time of the reassessment may be presented;
- An appraisal of your property at the time of the reassessment.
Estimated Timeline of 2020 General Reassessment:
July 2019 to April 2020 – Assessor field work begins.
May 2020 – Assessment notices mailed out
May - June 2020 – Assessment hearings held
July 2020 – City Council will begin establishing the Board of Equalization which will hear additional requests from property owners regarding property assessments
August 2020 – Circuit Court approves Board of Equalization candidate Board of Equalization members receive training
October 2020 – Board of Equalization will begin hearing citizen's cases
October 15, 2020 – Deadline for filing an appeal with the Board of Equalization
December 2020 – Board of Equalization closes hearings
Thereafter – Citizens who still wish to appeal their assessments may come before the Circuit Court