Pittsylvania County Reassessment
What is the Purpose of Reassessment?
Legally required by the Commonwealth of Virginia, reassessment is when up-to-date property values are determined for an entire locality or municipality. Updated values are determined through photographs, aerial images, and observations from a trained crew of property assessors. There are many complicated formulas and factors involved in determining and updating property values, which are kept by the Commissioner of the Revenue. Here is more detailed information about reassessment.
These updated values are important because they ensure that every property owner pays appropriate taxes based upon up-to-date market values. In other words, the reassessment process ensures that the tax burden is distributed equitably and fairly. We want to make sure that some citizens don’t have a higher share of the tax burden than their property actually warrants, and we also don’t want to see citizens "fly under the radar" and avoid paying taxes on the actual value of their property.
These values are kept on file by the Commissioner of the Revenue and are used in concurrence with the tax rate to generate real estate tax bills. Counties with populations of more than 50,000 are required to perform a reassessment at least every four years.
Skip to the two and a half minute mark of the top podcast to hear from Brightminds' Managing Partner William Cole about reassessment and the company's methods that differentiate them from other reassessment companies.
Skip to the two minute mark of the 2022 Reassessment podcast to hear more about the reassessment process from Pittsylvania County Project Manager Nick Morris.
Brightminds, Pittsylvania County's Reassessment Contractor
Work for the 2022 reassessment has been underway in Pittsylvania County for many months. Pittsylvania County does not complete the reassessment process itself, as some larger localities do; instead, the Board of Supervisors has elected to hire appraisal companies to complete the process, ensuring more transparency.
Methods: Technology and Aerial Photography
“This reassessment process is extremely important for ensuring that all of our property owners pay their fair share of taxes, and the more information that our residents provide the more accurate and equitable the final assessment will be. We have gone with a completely different reassessment process this year to ensure that the results are as accurate as possible.” - Bob Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors
Process: Market Value and Assumptions
During a Work Session for the Board of Supervisors in March, William Cole, the Managing Partner of Pittsylvania County's assessment contractor, Brightminds, LLC, explained his team's valuation process and provided some demonstrations and example homes and how they would be valued. For instance, Cole explained the quality grading system - which ranges from A at best to E at worst - and showed where different homes would fit into that system. Cole also explained the difference between quality and condition: condition is the current state of the materials, whereas quality is the material's overall grade.
The reassessment team considers all types of information, including quality and condition, list price versus sold price over the four year period, construction cost comparison, and year over years statistics, when determining what the fair market value for a property is. Fair market value is the amount a typical, informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property with the following conditions:
The reassessment team will always aim to value a property at 100% of the fair market value.
The letter sent out to property owners regarding the reassessment process stated that if the reassessment team could not see the interior of a home or building, then assumptions would need to be applied.
Assumptions simply means that the reassessment team will have to assume that the interior of your home is similar in condition and quality to its exterior, which is how the reassessment process has always worked.
Again, the reassessment process has always involved assumptions about things - such as the interior of a home - that the reassessment team cannot see. Pittsylvania County staff opened communication with the public by sending letters to encourage residents who wanted the reassessment team to view the condition or quality of their home's interior to fill out the information form or even request an in-person visit. This would have been beneficial for someone who's home appears or is nicer on the outside than the inside.
December Work Session Updates
Brightminds utilizes three UAV (drone pilots). These pilots possess the following FAA Part 107 Certificates:
- Certificate # 4390777 (issued 5/29/20);
- Certificate # 4228967 (issued 2/23/19); and
- Certificate # 3959936 (issued 4/15/18).
March Work Session Updates
State Laws about Reassessment
Virginia State Codes § 58.1-3250 through § 58.1-3355 governs the reassessment of real property for Virginia localities. The State Code includes sections regarding general information about reassessment cycles, who can perform a reassessment, reassessment valuation procedures and practices, the involvement of the Commissioner of the Revenue, the levy of taxes, public disclosure and access to records, tax to constitute lien, and administrative and judicial review.