2010 Real Estate Assessment Notices Mailed Feb. 23

Feb. 23, 2010
OPA 051/10

News Highlights

  • About 80 percent of residential properties experienced an assessment decrease.
  • Commercial properties show an overall equalization decline of -18.29 percent.
  • Assessment appeals may be made through the Department of Tax Administration or the Board of Equalization.

The Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) begins mailing 352,135 real estate assessment notices to county taxpayers today, Feb. 23.  The notices will be sent to all property owners of taxable parcels in the county.  Of the 352,135 taxable parcels in the county, 296,522 had some value change. The remaining taxable parcels have no change in their 2010 real estate assessment.

Map of Residential Assessments Analysis by Zip Code Adobe PDF

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

About 80 percent of residential properties experienced an assessment decrease and another 16 percent had no change for 2010.  The overall equalization change for residential properties is -5.56 percent.  Commercial properties show an overall equalization decline of -18.29 percent.  The commercial decrease is primarily the net result of value decreases in hotels of -34.0 percent, office elevator properties of -24.3 percent, and multifamily apartments of -12.7 percent.  The percentage of the real estate assessment base attributable to commercial and industrial property in FY 2011 is 19.7 percent (in addition, multifamily rental apartments contribute another 4.15 percent of the county’s real estate tax base).

Overall, of the 296,522 properties that have a 2010 assessment change, 8,146 are due to growth (i.e., new construction, rezoning, etc.), and 288,376 properties changed due to equalization.  The allocation of land value to total property value remained relatively constant in 2010.     

Main Book Assessments of taxable real estate in Fairfax County for 2010 total approximately $187.8 billion.  This is a decrease of approximately $19.03 billion, or -9.20 percent from the 2009 assessment base, and is made up of the following components:

Residential Properties:

  • Equalization: -$8.40 B // -5.56%
  • Growth: $0.19 B // 0.12%
  • Total: -$8.21 B // -5.43%

Non-Residential Properties:

  • Equalization: -$10.17 B // -18.29%
  • Growth: -$0.65 B // -1.16%
  • Total: -$10.82 B // -19.45%


  • Equalization: -$18.57 B // -8.98%
  • Growth: -$0.46 B // -0.22 %
  • Total: -$19.03 B // -9.20%

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, countywide) of most single family-detached homes for 2010 is $525,068, down -5.50 percent.  This group of properties makes up approximately 70 percent of the residential equalization property value in the county.

Additionally, based on equalization changes, townhouse/duplex properties have a 2010 countywide assessment average of $310,855, a decrease from 2009 of approximately -4.44 percent; and, the mean assessed value for condominiums is down -10.45 percent to $207,586.

As noted in the FY 2011 Advertised Budget Plan, the mean assessed value for 2010 of all improved residential property is approximately $432,439.  For added reference, the attached map shows varying pockets of equalization for residential property (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. Residents can obtain a list of residential sales within each assessment neighborhood from the DTA Web page.  This is a customer service initiative intended to help residents review their 2010 assessment.  Residents are encouraged to call 703-222-8234, TTY 711 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 residents 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.  New this year, residents may appeal their residential assessment online. Appeal applications can still be obtained by calling DTA at 703-222-8234 or can be downloaded directly from the DTA Web page.  DTA requests that appeal applications be filed by April 2, 2010.

Real Estate appeals can also be filed with the Board of Equalization (BOE).  Under Virginia law, the BOE is separate from the DTA 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 1, 2010.  BOE appeal forms also are available online or by calling 703-324-4891, TTY 711.

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


Get News. Get Information. Get Fairfax County.Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711

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