2008 Real Estate Assessment Change Notices Mailed

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Feb. 25, 2008

2008 Real Estate Assessment Change Notices Mailed

The Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) begins mailing 351,598 real estate assessment notices to County taxpayers today. The notices will be sent to all property owners of taxable parcels in the County. Of the 351,598 taxable parcels in the County, 331,308 had some value change. The remaining taxable parcels have no change in their 2008 real estate assessment.

The assessed value of properties may change for a variety of reasons. Among these are appreciation and value declines (i.e., equalization changes); and, structural changes (additions, remodeling), rezonings, and land divisions (i.e., growth). A combination of these factors can apply to the same property.

The majority of residential properties experienced a decrease or no change in value. The overall equalization change for residential properties is -3.38%. Commercial properties show an overall equalization increase of 7.00%. This is primarily the net result of value increases in industrial properties of 14.08%, and low rise offices of 9.16% and retail of 7.76%. The percentage of the real estate assessment base attributable to commercial and industrial property in FY 2009 increased to 21.06% (in addition, multi-family rental apartments contribute another 4.1% of the County’s real estate tax base).

Overall, of the 331,308 properties that have a 2008 assessment change, 13,331 are due to growth (i.e., new construction, rezoning, etc.), 291,716 properties changed solely due to equalization, and 26,261 have some adjustment between land and building values but no change to the overall property value.

Main Book Assessments of taxable real estate in Fairfax County for 2008 total approximately $229.7 billion. This is an increase of approximately $1.17 billion, or 0.51% over the 2007 assessment base, and is made up of the following components:

Residential Properties:

  • Equalization: -$5.97 B // -3.38%
  • Growth: $1.37B // 0.77 %
  • Total: -$4.60B // -2.61%

Non-Residential Properties:

  • Equalization: $3.64 B // 7.00%
  • Growth: $2.13 B // 4.11 %
  • Total: $5.77 B // 11.11%


  • Equalization: -$2.33 B // -1.02%
  • Growth: $3.50B // 1.53 %
  • Total: $1.17B // 0.51%

It is important to note that these percentages represent the cumulative amount to the overall tax base and are not necessarily indicative of specific change to any particular, individual properties. Individual assessment changes may vary considerably. For residential property, for example, a key factor in determining the need to change is the relationship of assessments to the selling prices within neighborhoods.

Based on equalization changes, the mean assessed value (i.e., on average, County-wide) of most single family-detached homes for 2008 is $617,541, down -3.12%. This group of properties makes up 71.2% of the residential equalization property value in the County.

Additionally, based on equalization changes, townhouse/duplex properties have a 2008 County-wide assessment average of $386,182, a decrease from 2007 of approximately -4.96%; and, the mean assessed value for condominiums is down -4.54% to $281,562.

As noted in the FY 2009 Advertised Budget Plan, the mean assessed value for 2008 of all improved residential property is approximately $524,076. For added reference, a map shows varying pockets of equalization for residential property (PDF) (vacant land as well as improved properties) throughout the County. Again, averages are not necessarily indicative of individual properties and neighborhoods.

Inquiries concerning any assessment should be directed to the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) at 703-222-8234; or, citizens may contact the Tax Department through DTA’s homepage. Again this year, citizens can obtain a list of residential sales within each assessment neighborhood from the DTA web site. This is a continuing customer service initiative intended to help citizens review their assessment for 2008. Citizens are encouraged to call DTA at 703-222-8234 to discuss their assessment questions with appraisal staff.

Property owners are encouraged to review their assessment notice upon receipt. Administrative appeals can be filed with DTA if citizens believe their assessment is not equitable in comparison with similar properties or if they believe their assessment exceeds fair market value. Appeals may be made in writing to the Real Estate Division of DTA. Appeal applications can be obtained by calling DTA; or, can be downloaded directly from DTA’s homepage. DTA requests that appeal applications be filed by April 4, 2008.

Real Estate appeals can also be filed with the Board of Equalization (BOE). Under State law, the BOE is separate from the Department of Tax Administration and consists of nine taxpayers appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The BOE conducts formal hearings and takes sworn testimony. By law, all appeals to the BOE must be filed and postmarked by June 2, 2008 (since June 1 falls on a Sunday this year). BOE appeal forms are also available on the BOE website, or by calling the BOE office at 703-324-4891.

Property owners are encouraged to contact DTA concerning assessment disputes; however, property owners may appeal directly to the BOE or to the Circuit Court of Fairfax County.


Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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