Commissioner-of-the-Revenue

2019 General Reassessment of Real Estate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is reassessment?
Reassessment is the process of determining the value of property or land for tax purposes.

Why have reassessments?
Reassessments are required by law to insure that each property is valued fairly. The purpose of property tax reassessment is to realign the values of real property that are determined with values of other kinds of property that are assessed annually, such as personal property, utilities and mobile homes.

As required by the Code of Virginia, Montgomery County is conducting a general reassessment in 2019. Montgomery County is required to reassess all real property at least every four years.

The Code of Virginia requires that all property is assessed at fair market value. Property taxes are calculated using the assessed value and the tax rate.

What should I expect from reassessment?
A reassessment will result in a new value being established for your property. This new value will replace the value currently on your property and will be the basis used for taxing property. Please remember that an increase or decrease in property value does not automatically mean an increase or decrease in your property taxes.

When was the last reassessment?
The 2015 reassessment results went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

What is the reassessment process?
The County is divided into smaller neighborhoods for market comparison. Each property is visited by a field inspector who verifies data and collects additional data. The field review is done with the homeowner if they are at home. Typically, the inspector will not enter into a dwelling. The work of field inspectors is reviewed by field supervisors, who often will not need to leave their vehicle to talk to the property owner unless there is a question. Data collection is entered into the mass appraisal system and accuracy validated. Neighborhood sales, land values, yearly appreciation trends and other data are analyzed throughout the process.

After reassessment is completed in late 2018, property owners will be notified. Property owners who disagree with the reassessment results will be given an opportunity to appeal to a Board of Equalization appointed by the Circuit Court from recommendations made by the County.

Who is conducting the reassessment?
Montgomery County has hired Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group of Daleville, VA, to assess values of every residential and commercial property in the County.

How do I know if someone visited my property?
Field workers and supervisors have County IDs and cars marked “County Reassessment.” When property owners are not home at the time of the visit by the field worker, a notice will be left on the door saying the property has been inspected.

What causes property values to change?
The most frequent cause of change in value results from a change in the market. When market value changes, so do assessed values. A property's value can also change for other reasons, such as additions, garages, remodeling or damage or destruction.

What is "Fair Market Value"?
Fair market value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property, under the following conditions:

  • The seller and buyer must be unrelated.
  • The seller must be willing, but not under undue pressure to sell and the buyer must be willing, but not under any obligation to buy.
  • The property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time.
  • The payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and the financing, if required, must be typical for that type of property.

If all these conditions are present, this is considered a market value, or "arm's length," sale.

How will reassessment affect my taxes?
An increase or decrease in your assessed value does not automatically mean the same increase or decrease in your taxes.

Why do I have to pay property taxes?
Schools, Sheriff's Office, fire and rescue protection, libraries and other services are only a few of the amenities property taxes make possible.


When will notices from the current reassessment be available?

Reassessment notices will be mailed to property owners in fall 2018.

How can I tell if my reassessed value is fair and accurate?
Compare the property's value with other comparable properties. Look at properties of similar age, lot and building size, construction, improvements, location, proximity to shopping, schools and other amenities.

You can compare your property with other properties by utilizing the online real estate parcel search web site.

What if I disagree with the assessed value?
A property owner has the right to appeal their property tax assessment. The burden of proof, however, will be on the taxpayer to prove why they should have their assessment changed. Just saying: "My taxes are too high" is not sufficient. You may appeal by either submitting a written appeal or by scheduling a face-to-face hearing.

The following may happen on appeal:

  1. the assessed value may be raised;
  2. it may be lowered; or
  3. it may remain the same

Any appeals that are not resolved by the Reassessment Office may be reviewed by the Board of Equalization.
The final appeal after the Board of Equalization would be to petition the Montgomery County Circuit Court for judicial review. The Code of Virginia provides all property owners the opportunity to appeal an unfair reassessment through the Circuit Court system.

How do I change my mailing address?
The Reassessment Office is not authorized to change mailing addresses. If you would like to change your address for reassessment correspondence and for your real estate tax tickets, please contact the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at 382-5717.

Why has the land value for my condominium changed to zero value?
Technically, condominiums do not sell with any land. Each condominium is purchased with a value associated to a pro-rated share of the Common Area Element (CAE) that exists within the condominium neighborhood. Each condominium complex identifies the Common Area Elements with Condominium Documents submitted to the State and locality during the zoning approval process. The Condominium Documents generally declare the rights of usage that the condominium owner has access to. This may include, for example, use of the open area, or of a community center, or the use of hallways, within a condominium complex.

During the 2011 General Reassessment an adjustment was made to all condominiums located in the County to properly reflect that there is zero value on land associated with any condominium. The prior value that had been assessed to the land is now assessed as an extra feature to the condominium unit as a value attributed to the Common Area Element.


Definitions

Assessment Notice - A written notice to the property owner of the assessed value of certain properties described in the notice. Law mandates that notice be given to the property owner following a revaluation of the property.

Land - The ground on which improvements may be placed. Does not include anything but the land itself.

Improvements - Anything that is built on the land. (i.e., house, barn, pool, paving etc.) and water/sewer hook-ups.

Real Property - The sum of tangible and intangible rights in land and improvements on the land. Real property means the following:

  • Land located within this state.
  • A building or fixture situated on land located within this state.
  • CAE Common Area Element - Attributed to Condominiums as the prorated value of common areas, inclusive of common land and buildings.
  • An appurtenance to land located within this state.
  • An easement in land located within this state, or an estate, right, or privilege in mines located on the land or minerals, including, but not limited to, oil and gas, located in the land, if the estate, right, or privilege is distinct from the ownership of the surface of the land.
  • A gaming riverboat licensed under IC-4-33.

Personal Property - Moveable items not permanently affixed to or part of the real estate such as:
  • Nursery stock that has been severed from the ground.
  • Billboard and other advertising devices which are located on real property that is not owned by the owner of the devices.
  • Motor vehicles, mobile homes, airplanes, boats not subject to the boat excise tax under IC 6-6-11, and trailers not subject to the trailer tax under IC 6-6-5.
  • Foundations (other than foundations which support a building or structure) on which machinery or equipment is installed.
  • All other tangible property (other than real property) which is being held for sale in the ordinary course of a trade or business, held, used, or consumed in connection with the production of income, or held as an investment.

Real Estate – The physical land and everything permanently attached to it.

Tangible Property – The combination of Real Property and Personal Property.

Tangible Personal Property
– Personal Property, such as goods, wares and merchandise. Anything that has physical attributes: can actually be seen and handled physically.

Intangible Personal Property – Personal Property, such as money, deposits, credits, shares of stock, bonds, notes, other evidences of indebtedness, and other evidences of property interests: paper assets.

 


Contact
Assessment Office
16 N. Franklin St. (back entrance)
Christiansburg, VA 24073

 

Phone: (540) 394-3126

Mailing Address
Reassessment Office
P.O. Box 6064
Christiansburg, VA 24068

Hours: Mon.-Fri.,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.