Real Estate Assessments Up 2 Percent

By FALLS CHURCH CITY COMMUNICATIONS

February 1, 2011

The total taxable assessed value for all properties in the City of Falls Church as of January 1, 2011, is $3.1 billion, a 2% increase from January 1 of last year. The City plans to mail assessments for 2011 by Friday, February 4. Updated assessment information will be posted on the City website February 7.

Overall residential real estate values increased 2% over the last year. Single family homes values increased by 4%, townhomes remain unchanged, and residential condominiums had varying changes.

Overall commercial property values declined 1% since January 2010. The real estate value of multi-family apartments increased 1%, large office buildings are down 4%, and large retail properties are down 2%. The value of City hotels declined 7%.

As set forth in the Virginia Constitution, real estate is assessed at 100 percent of fair market value. The City’s Office of Real Estate Assessment calculates property value annually using mass appraisal techniques that are standard in the real estate assessment industry.

Real Estate Taxes and Public Hearings

The notice of assessment is an appraisal of the fair market value of the property; it is not a tax bill. Property tax payments will be due in two installments on June 5 and Dec. 5; property owners will receive bills prior to these dates.

The real estate tax rate will be determined on April 25 when the Falls Church City Council adopts the FY 2012 Operating Budget and Capital Improvements Program and sets the tax rate. Public hearings on the FY 2012 Proposed Operating Budget will be held on March 28, April 11, and April 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, located at 300 Park Ave., Falls Church. To see the complete budget schedule, visit www.fallschurchva.gov.

Assessment Appeals

Homeowners wondering if their assessment is correct should ask the question, “Would my home sell for the assessed value if I put it on the market?” If the answer is “yes,” the assessment is probably accurate. If the answer is “no,” contact the Office of Real Estate Assessment at 703-248-5022 (TTY 711).

Deadlines for assessment appeals are March 18 for an Office of Real Estate Assessment review and July 1 for a Board of Equalization review.

Real Estate Tax Relief Program for the Elderly and Disabled

The City’s Real Estate Tax Relief program assists eligible City homeowners by reducing their property tax through exemptions (grants) and deferrals.

Eligibility requirements:

§ The owner must be at least 65 years of age, or totally and permanently disabled;

§ The property must be the owner’s primary residence;

§ The combined income of all household members must not exceed $36,225 for exemptions (grants) and $75,000 for deferrals; and

§ Assets must not exceed $540,000.

The deadline to apply is April 15, 2011. For more information and an application, e-mail treasurer@fallschurchva.gov; call 703-248-5045 (TTY 711); or stop by the Treasurer’s Office in City Hall, located at 300 Park Ave., Suite 103 East Wing.

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February 1, 2011 

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