Real Estate Assessment Review and Appeal Process
The real estate assessment Review and Appeal process begins when Notices of Assessment are mailed in early February of each calendar year. Property owners who contend that the assessed value does not represent the fair market value of their property as of January 1 (effective date) for the assessment year, or that the assessment is not equitable with comparable properties, or is otherwise erroneous, may request that the Office of Real Estate Assessments (Office) review the assessment, or may file an Appeal with the Board of Equalization and Assessment Review (Board). There are three processes in place to contest your current year assessment: a Review of Assessment, an Appeal of Assessment, and filing suit with the Circuit Court.
Review of Assessment
A Review of Assessment is an internal review of the property’s assessment performed by Office staff. During this process, a staff appraiser will discuss your concerns regarding the value of the property with you, look at all pertinent sales and equity comparables, and inspect the property (interior or exterior inspection depending on the wishes of the property owner) to correct any factual errors on the property record. The Office strongly encourages all property owners in disagreement with their property value to file for a Review of Assessment as the first step in the appeal process. The deadline for requesting a Review of Assessment by the Office is in early to mid-March depending on when the notices are mailed. Review forms are considered filed timely with the Office if received or postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than the designated dates detailed in the initial notice and on our web site. Copies of the Review form may also be downloaded from this website, or you may contact the office directly to have a form mailed to you.
Appeal of Assessment
An Appeal of Assessment is a hearing before the Board of Equalization and Assessment Review to determine the value of the property. The Board is appointed by the Circuit Court and the City Council and is independent of the Office. During a Board hearing, state law puts the burden of proof on the property owner to show that the assessed value is incorrect. The property owner, or an authorized representative of the property owner, will present to the Board all evidence of what the value should be during the hearing. It is important to note that the Board will only consider evidence provided by the appellant within the initial Appeal submission. A staff appraiser will then present to the Board information on how the value was initially determined, any information discovered in researching the property’s value and any recommendations by staff for changes to the assessment. The property owner will then have time to rebut the information presented by the staff. After all presentations are made the Board will determine what the assessed value for the current year should be. It is within the Boards’ purview to sustain, lower, or increase the current assessment based on the facts entered into evidence during the course of the hearing. The deadline for filing an Appeal of Real Estate Assessment with the Board of Equalization and Assessment Review is in early June. Appeal forms will be considered filed with the Board if received or postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than the designated dates detailed in the initial notice and on our web site. It is not a requirement that you first request a review of the assessment by the Office before you file an appeal with the Board, but we strongly encourage you to do so.
Property owners who are not satisfied after seeking a remedy through the real estate assessment Review and Appeal process may file suit in the Alexandria Circuit Court within three years of the tax assessment year in question. In order to file a lawsuit, the property owner or the owner's agent must have appealed the alleged erroneous assessment to the Board of Equalization and Assessment Review and the Board must have heard and acted on the appeal. For more information, contact:
City of Alexandria Circuit Court
520 King St 3rd & 4th Floors
Alexandria, VA 22314