Title 58.1-3201 of the Code of Virginia provides for the assessment of real property at 100% of fair market value. Fair market value is the probable amount a property would sell for today if exposed to the market for a reasonable period. Henrico County employs an annual reassessment program to ensure that property is assessed uniformly and at its market value. The Real Estate Assessment Division is part of the Department of Finance and is charged with the review and reassessment of all real property effective January 1 of each year.
How Assessments are Determined
Real estate assessments are based on the typical selling price of comparable properties and reflect the actions of buyers and sellers in the local market. The Real Estate Assessment Division is responsible for reviewing market transactions and using the data to assess each property accordingly. Each year staff analyzes thousands of real estate transfers, of which the majority are residential properties. Additionally, transactions for previous years are examined. Sales information is gathered from recorded deeds, buyers, sellers, real estate professionals, and the selling prices are compared to the assessed values to determine an assessment/sales ratio. A neighborhood is selected for reassessment when its assessment/sales ratio is significantly below or above 100 percent. Once it is determined that an area must be reassessed, three valuation approaches, i.e., sales comparison, cost, or income are considered. Typically, the sales comparison approach is chosen for residential properties. Comparable sales information is used as a basis for the assessment of individual properties after the transactions are carefully analyzed to consider differences in size, quality, condition, location, and other amenities.
Due to the limited number of local commercial property transactions, regional and national information must be collected for analysis. In addition to replacement cost data and market data, commercial properties are selected for reassessment based on potential rental income, occupancy levels, and investor demand.
Notice of Assessment
Beginning in February of each year, all property owners are mailed a notice of assessment. The mortgage company should be notified if there is a change in the assessment. Title 58.1-3330 of the Code of Virginia requires that any person other than the owner who receives this notice, shall transmit it to the owner at the last known address immediately upon receipt.
“Land Use” value on the notice represents the use value assessment (qualifying and non-qualifying acreage) of property enrolled in the Land Use program. The sum of “Land Use” value and “Building Value” is the total taxable assessment for participating properties. “Land” value represents market value of the land.
Real Estate Assessment Appeal
Formal reconsideration of an assessment is warranted if the property owner believes the assessed value is in excess of fair market value, is based on incorrect property information, or is inequitable when compared to similar properties. Upon request, staff will complete an application for a property inspection and review of the assessment. Once the analysis is complete, the property owner is notified and a recommended assessment is forwarded to the Board of Real Estate Review and Equalization (BOE) for consideration. Any property owner who disagrees with the County’s decision will be given an opportunity to appear before the BOE. By law, assessment appeals must be filed no later than April 1 of the current year. For additional information, call 804.501.4300 or the property owner may initiate an appeal by emailing AssessmentAppeal@henrico.us.