Members of the Board of Equalization (BOE) are Fairfax County property owners or residents who have been appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The statutes of the Commonwealth of Virginia define the responsibilities, duties, and limits of power of the BOE. The BOE is an independent body and is NOT part of the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA). The BOE does not make assessments nor do they set the tax rate.
The assessment is presumed to be correct. The burden is on the taxpayer to show that the property on appeal is valued at more than its fair market value, that the assessment is not uniform in its application, that it is otherwise not equalized, or that there are mistakes of fact, including computation.
To receive relief from the BOE, the taxpayer must produce substantial evidence that the assessment is erroneous and was not arrived at in accordance with generally accepted appraisal practice.
All assessments are effective as of January 1 of each tax year and the assessments are made based on information available to DTA prior to that date.
If it is proven that the assessment is in error, the BOE will determine whatever correction must be made and order DTA to make the appropriate change. It is the power and responsibility of the BOE to raise, lower, or affirm any real estate property assessment in order to ensure the equitable distribution of the tax burden among all of the citizens of Fairfax County.
When the appeal is filed, the values of both the land and improvements are re-opened and either or both values may be increased, decreased, or affirmed. Uniformity of the tax burden is a function of the total assessed value and therefore the focus of the application should be on the total assessed value. Large increases in land value or improvement value are not errors in the assessment so long as the change in the total assessed value is uniform as measured by market value evidence. Any appraisal report or professionally prepared opinion of value submitted with this application must be complete as originally prepared. Partial reports will not be considered. Such reports or opinions must be submitted as originally prepared and signed.
How to Submit an Appeal Application
Your submission consists of a fully completed application form for each parcel you wish to appeal plus a written statement describing the error you believe the DTA made in determining the value of your property. If building is supported by several parcels with the same owner, only one BOE application is necessary, but list all parcels (Tax Map Numbers). Supplemental evidence to support your claim should also be included, i.e., maps, photos, and other documentary evidence you want considered at your hearing.
IMPORTANT: All written and supplementary information MUST be submitted with your application form by the filing deadline. No additional written materials, visual presentations, and other documentary evidence with the exception of maps or photographs will be accepted at the hearing. All parts of the appeal must be neatly printed or typed and submitted to the BOE in duplicate.
FILING DEADLINE: In order for your appeal to be considered, applications along with ALL written supporting evidence must be delivered to the BOE office no later than 4:30 P.M. on June 1, or be postmarked no later than midnight on June 1. Note: If the filing deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or County Holiday, the deadline is the following business day.
Special Instructions: If the applicant is not the owner of record of the subject property, the application must include a Letter of Authorization from the owner. Such authorization must be signed by the owner prior to the date of the application and either be written on the owner's letterhead or must be notarized. For income producing properties, a completed copy of the Fairfax County's Department of Tax Administration (DTA) annual income and expense survey, as submitted to DTA for the calendar years 2019 and 2020, along with any applicable rent rolls MUST BE INCLUDED WITH THE SUBMISSION. Applicant’s failure to complete all sections of the application and/or the failure of the representative of an owner to include the owner's authorization may result in a denial of the application for hearing.
The following forms are available for viewing and printing in a PDF format only. In order to view or print these files, you may need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.
Use this form if you believe that your real estate has been over-assessed in comparison with similar properties or in relation to fair market value and you wish to appeal to the BOE. For more information on real estate taxes, tax assessments, and appeals, see the Department of Tax Administration's Real Estate Tax page.
For Commercial Properties Only: If you are filing for multiple parcels within the same appeal, please complete the application and this spreadsheet. Please contact the BOE administrative assistant at 703-324-4891 for additional assistance regarding this spreadsheet.
No additional material may be added once your case has been submitted, nor can you present any additional written documents at the hearing.
It is important that you contact BOTH the DTA (703-222-8234 or https://icare.fairfaxcounty.gov/ContactUs/) and the BOE (703-324-4891) to inform them of any change in mailing address and/or phone number. If we are unable to reach you, your case will be scheduled in absentia and presented based upon the written documents you have provided.
After Filing an Application
All residential appellants will receive a letter confirming the application, usually during the first week of July. You will receive your case material from the BOE with a request that you call the office (703-324-4891) within two weeks to schedule your hearing. Otherwise, a hearing date will be scheduled for you and you will be notified in writing of the date and time of the hearing. The notification will be approximately one week prior to the hearing. In extreme circumstances, a case may be rescheduled at the discretion of the BOE.
An appraiser from DTA will contact you regarding the appeal. They may request to physically inspect the property and go over the assessment information with you. The appraiser then will review the property's assessment and the either affirm, increase, or decrease the assessed value based on their analysis.
If you agree with the revised assessment, you must fax or mail in a withdrawal document to the BOE.
If a refund is required, a tax credit will be reflected in your second installment bill, or if your taxes are paid in full, you will receive a refund check approximately 6 weeks following your hearing date or receipt of your withdrawal. If you have questions about the tax bill, call 703-222-8234.