- Approximately 45% of residential properties experienced an assessment increase.
- Nonresidential real estate values increased 1.85% due to equalization.
- Assessment appeals may be made through the Department of Tax Administration or the Board of Equalization.
- Get more information about real estate assessments from the Understanding Real Estate Assessments page.
- View the FY 2018 Advertised Budget Plan.
The Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) begins mailing Tax Year 2017 real estate assessment notices to County taxpayers today (Feb. 14, 2017). The notices will be sent to all Fairfax County real estate owners. Of the 353,695 taxable parcels in the County, 232,280 had some value change. The remaining taxable parcels have no change in their 2017 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.
Approximately 45% of residential properties experienced an assessment increase for 2017 due to equalization, and another 35% had no change for 2017. Approximately 20% experienced some level of assessment decrease. The overall equalization change for residential properties is 0.68%, while commercial properties show an equalization increase of 1.85%. The commercial increase is primarily the result of an increase of 7.39% in retail properties and 3.37% in multi-family apartments.
The percentage of the real estate assessment base attributable to commercial and industrial property in FY 2018 is 19.12% (in addition, multi-family rental apartments contribute another 6.45% of the county’s real estate tax base).
Overall, of the 232,280 properties that have a 2017 assessment change, 7,994 are due to growth (i.e., new construction, rezoning, etc.), and 224,286 properties changed due to equalization.
Main Book Assessments of taxable real estate in Fairfax County for 2017 total approximately $237.8 billion. This is an increase of approximately $4.42 billion, or 1.89% over the 2016 assessment base, and is made up of the following components:
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 assessments is the relationship of prior year assessments to the selling prices within neighborhoods.
Based on equalization changes, the mean assessed value (i.e., on average, countywide) of single family-detached homes for 2017 is $639,468, up 1.10%. This group of properties makes up approximately 72% of the residential equalization property value in the county.
Additionally, based on equalization changes, townhouse/duplex properties have a 2017 countywide assessment average of $398,166, an increase over 2016 of approximately 1.37%; and, the mean assessed value for condominiums is $260,617, down slightly at -0.32%.
As noted in the FY 2018 Advertised Budget Plan, the mean assessed value for 2017 of all improved residential property is approximately $533,168. 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.
Pursuant to state law, taxpayers are now provided prior year tax amounts on their real estate notice along with assessed value information. It is important to understand that the tax amounts shown on the notice for 2017 are nothing more than estimates based on the 2016 tax rates, as required by state law. Tax rates for 2017 have not yet been adopted by the Board of Supervisors. The Board will adopt 2017 tax rates as part of their deliberation on the FY 2018 Advertised Budget Plan.
Inquiries concerning any assessment should be directed to the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) at 703-222-8234 [TTY 711]; or, citizens may contact the Tax Department through DTA's homepage: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/taxes/. Citizens can obtain a list of residential sales within each assessment neighborhood from the DTA website. This customer service initiative intended to help citizens review their assessment for 2017. 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. Citizens may appeal their residential assessment online through DTA’s homepage, http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/taxes/. Appeal applications can also still be obtained by calling DTA; or, can be downloaded directly from DTA’s homepage. DTA requests that appeal applications be filed by April 3, 2017.
Real Estate appeals can also be filed with the Board of Equalization (BOE). Under State 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, 2017. BOE appeal forms are also available on the BOE website at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/boe/ 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.