The assessment notice you receive after January 1 of each year contains instructions and deadline dates for appeals to the Department of Real Estate Assessments and the Board of Equalization.
You must file before the deadlines to make a valid appeal.
The first thing you need to do is decide for yourself what you think your property is worth based on the assessment analysis period of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. You can do this by looking at comparable sales of properties like yours, contact appraisers, and compare assessments on similar properties to yours. Sales and assessment information is available in the Department of Real Estate Assessments and open to public inspection during regular business hours. You may use the Property Data Search feature on this web site to compare assessments and view sales.
The first step is to contact the appraiser in the Department of Real Estate Assessments who is assigned to your neighborhood at 703-228-3920. During this informal session you can find out how the assessment was made and what information is available about your property. After speaking with the appraiser, if you still think the assessment on your property is incorrect the next step is to submit a formal appeal form application. We encourage tax payers to use our online submission process to file their application(s). Once a written appeal is received by the Department of Real Estate Assessment, an appraiser from the office will contact you to request an inspection of your property. During that inspection you may point out to the appraiser any information or factors that might affect the value of the property. After the inspection, you will receive written notification of the decision with regards to the property value of your property.
2013 Department of Real Estate Assessment Appeals Filing Period: Individuals and businesses seeking to appeal their property tax assessments to the department for 2013 may do so between January 1 - March 1, 2013. Applications must be postmarked by March 1.
Assessment Appeals Forms
Department of Real Estate Assessment appeal reviews may not be completed prior to the Board of Equalization appeal deadline of April 15. If you have not received your appeal results from the department by April 1, you must file an appeal application with the Board of Equalization to preserve your right for an appeal before the board.
An assessment appeal is not a complaint about higher taxes. You must attempt to prove that your property's market value is either inaccurate or unfair. You may appeal based on the following:
The property taxes you pay are primarily based on your property's assessed value as determined by the County Assessor. If you disagree with value established by the Assessor, you can appeal that value to the Board of Equalization. The Board of Equalization conducts hearings on property assessment disputes. Acting on the basis of relevant evidence submitted by both property owner and the Department of Real Estate Assessments, it is their role to make a fair, impartial decision on all property assessment disputes appealed, between taxpayers and the Assessor. The Board of Equalization is separate and independent from the Assessor's Office.
The Board of Equalization is a quasi-judicial body composed of seven members appointed by the County Board. The Board members have professional experience in the fields of real estate, property appraisal, accounting, law, or similar areas.
2013 Board of Equalization Appeals Filing Period: Individuals and businesses seeking to appeal their property tax assessments to the Board of Equalization for 2013 may do so between January 1 - April 15, 2013. Applications must be postmarked by April 15.
State law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the assessment is incorrect. You must have strong enough evidence to show that the assessor's value is incorrect. Stating that your property taxes are too high is not relevant testimony. You need to establish what you think your property is worth. The best evidence of this would be to compare recorded arm length transaction sales of similar properties during the analysis period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. And finally you can show that similar properties have inequitable values. All supporting evidence is due to the board by April 15, 2013.
The final step in the appeals process is to file suit in the Circuit Court. This will usually involve hiring of an attorney to represent you in the matter. The address and telephone number for the Circuit Court follows:
Arlington County Circuit Court
1425 North Courthouse Road
Arlington, VA 22201