The Board of Equalization (BOE) meets on Monday and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. and Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. from June through December. The hearing rooms are on the Plaza Level of the Government Center Building at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax VA. Most hearings are held in Room 7 or 8.
If you cannot be present, you may authorize a representative to present on your behalf, but they must possess a signed, notarized statement from you. If no one appears, your case will be heard in absentia and presented based upon the written documents you have provided. You may not send letters or comments to the board members to be read in your absence.
The BOE hearing is a formal process where taxpayers may present oral testimony along with evidence in the form of their application and supporting material. No additional written material may be submitted at the hearing.
During the hearing process, appellants are cautioned not to address the staff of the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) but to make their presentation directly to the BOE. A BOE member may choose to ask DTA staff the appellant's question but the appellant may not ask questions directly to the DTA staff.
Uniformity of the tax burden is a function of the total assessed value. Appellants should focus their presentation on the total value. Large increases in land value or improvement value are not errors in the assessment so long as the change in the total value is uniform as measured by market value evidence.
The order of procedure for the hearing of an appeal shall be:
- Swearing in of the witnesses.
All persons who intend to testify before the BOE shall be duly sworn. “Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony, both oral and documentary, which you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
- Presentation of the appellant’s case, including testimony of witnesses and presentation of documentary evidence.
It should be noted that all written materials, visual presentations (e.g. overhead projections, flip charts, or other electronic displays), and other documentary evidence with the exception of maps and photographs, which the appellant intends to present during the hearing process must be filed with the BOE and received by June 1 of the tax year under appeal.
- Presentation of testimony and evidence by the Department of Tax Administration.
- Appellant's rebuttal of testimony and evidence given by the Department of Tax Administration.
- The hearing is then closed for discussion among the BOE members to give consideration to the testimony and evidence presented.
The appellant or the DTA staff may give no further evidence of testimony. The BOE may ask questions of either the appellant or DTA, or both to clarify points made during the testimony.
- Decision of the BOE is made and recorded.
If the assessment is increased or decreased, the BOE will forward an order to the DTA to make such changes. All changes in the assessed value will be effective as of January 1 of the tax year under appeal. The appellant should direct to the DTA any questions in regards to any refunds that may be a result of the BOE decision.
Decisions by the BOE are final but may be appealed further to the Fairfax County Circuit Court. Contact the circuit court for their procedures and practices in regards to such appeals.