- As part of the Fairfax County annual assessment program, the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) reviews the assessed values for all real property each year. In accordance with the Virginia Constitution, all real estate is assessed in a uniform manner and all assessments are at fair market value. The Virginia Code and the Fairfax County Code provide the legal basis from which to administer and to execute the provisions of the Constitution.
- The Code of Virginia provides that properties shall be assessed at 100 percent of their fair market value. It is the responsibility of DTA to annually determine from the available market sales data those properties whose assessments are not at market value and should be changed. This change may result in either an increase or a decrease in value to achieve a fair distribution of the real property tax burden. Simply stated, while all properties are reviewed each year, not all property assessments are changed each year.
- In most cases for residential properties, fair market value is best determined from comparable sales data. This process involves analyzing recently sold properties and adjusting the sales for differences to estimate the values of the unsold properties. DTA uses mass appraisal techniques and computer assistance to accomplish this annual task. In addition to market, there are other approaches to value such as replacement cost approach and the income approach. The professional appraisal staff within DTA researches and analyzes the available sales information each year to determine the approach to value which will yield the best assessed values as of January 1 each year, the effective date of the assessment.
- Property owners whose assessments have changed are mailed a notice of assessment change in late February or early March. Property owners are encouraged to review their assessment as soon as possible. If a property owner has questions about the assessment, information is available by sending an email, calling, or visiting our office. If a formal review is desired please appeal online or download and complete an appeal form from this site by April 4, 2016. Appeals received after April 4, 2016 will not be processed until the coming year's assessment review is complete.
- Additional information about assessment trends can be found under Real Estate tax in the "Overview Volume" of the Current budget on the Department of Management and Budget web site.