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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.
Required by law, periodic reassessments ensure that every property has an accurate and current fair market value. This value is used to calculate property taxes, which are the product of the assessed value and the tax rate.
The important thing to remember is why reassessment is both required by state law and important for local government and the taxpayers: 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. We will be sharing lots more information about the reassessment process in the coming weeks and months.
Virginia Code § 58.1-3252 dictates that all Virginia counties with 50,000 or more residents must complete periodic reassessment of property values on a four year cycle. Those localities with less than 50,000 residents can operate on a six-year cycle, but since Pittsylvania County has more than 60,000 it completes the reassessment process every four years.
All real property in Pittsylvania County is subject to taxation except for properties that are specifically exempt through Article X § 6 of the Constitution of Virginia or property classified or designated as exempt under Section 58.1-3600. For example, property owned by the County, the State, or the Federal governments and property are non-taxable, and many properties used for religious, charitable, educational, cultural, or recreational uses are non-taxable.
The reassessment team will only enter your home if you invite them inside to survey something that you believe may impact your home’s value. This includes any renovations or damages since the last reassessment. If they can see things like flooring materials and furnishings they can get a much more accurate valuation of your home.
You do not need to invite them into your home, and can instead talk with them when they visit your home and/or send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you sent photos please include your tax map number and a description.
The Board of Supervisors and many taxpayers were unsatisfied with the reassessment processes used in the past, so Pittsylvania County is working hard and utilizing new methods to ensure that taxes are fair and equitable. Allowing the reassessment team to view your home’s interior conditions, construction quality, and finish and furnishings (flooring type, baseboards, window treatment, etc.), as well as view any major damages or renovations that may have happened in the last few years, will help them to make a more accurate assessment of your home’s current value. This means that the more access you provide the more accurate your property will be valuated, and the more fair (not necessarily higher) your tax bill will be.
If the reassessment team can’t see the interior of your home then they will assume that the interior is similar in QUALITY and CONDITION to the exterior of your home. This does not automatically mean that the valuation will be higher. However, if your home’s interior is in significantly nicer or poorer shape than the exterior, it may be a good idea to provide the assessors with photographs or allow them inside. This is the same process that has been used for all previous reassessments.
You may decide not to allow the assessors inside your home and can tell them to leave your property entirely. You may also decline to fill out the information request. If you choose not to provide any additional information to the reassessment company, assumptions will have to be applied, which could potentially impact the updated value of your property. Assumptions simply means that the team will have assume that the interior of your home is similar in condition and quality to your home’s exterior.
The reassessed value of your property will not have an impact on the current tax rate of $.62 for every $100 in assessed value. If the assessment team finds that your home or property is worth more than it was four years ago then your bill would increase, but if your property is deemed to be equal in value than your tax bill would remain unchanged.
Market value is the amount a typical, informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property with the following conditions:
If you want to ensure that your property’s assessment is fair you should compare it with other similar properties. These comparable properties should be similar in age, lot, building size, location, construction, improvements, as well as proximity to things like schools. You can check out parcels near you with the Pittsylvania County GIS website.