Pittsylvania County Reassessment

Three-Month Extension Granted for Certification

To account for the influx of concerns and questions from property owners that have stemmed from the sharp increase in prices, Pittsylvania County is extending the 2022 reassessment process. As allowed by State Code 58.1-3257, the Circuit Court granted Pittsylvania County a 90 day extension before the reassessment values are certified. This will allow for the improvement of the customer service experience for County property owners, ensure that every property owner has a chance to meet with Brightminds, and will allow the Virginia Department of Taxation to serve in an advisory capacity.

You can read the full press release about this extension here. Information about availability for appeals meetings with Brightminds will be shared soon. 

"There have been many unusual circumstances that have impacted Pittsylvania County's 2022 reassessment process," said Bob Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. "With the drastic rise in property values, we believe that this 90-day extension will ensure that adequate review can occur and will allow more property owners to have appeals meetings with Brightminds.” Reassessment Extension Graphic

Brightminds staff conducted over a thousand appeals meetings with Pittsylvania County property owners between December 6 and 17. However, due to the increase in property values that occurred over the past four years, more property owners than was expected have requested to meet with Brightminds. Brightminds was not able to meet with every property owner that requested a meeting; some property owners still have not heard from Brightminds. Extending the reassessment certification deadline will allow for every interested property owner to meet with Brightminds and appeal their property’s assessed value before it goes into the County’s official records. The County is actively working with Brightminds to attempt to schedule additional informal meetings with County property owners in January of 2022. 

Updated property valuations were mailed out to property owners around November 19. After Brightminds spent more than a year of work visiting and viewing properties, conducting sales studies, and developing valuation tables, updated valuations were mailed out in November of 2021. As a whole, the assessed value of Pittsylvania County properties rose approximately 22% between the 2018 and 2022 reassessments. The increase in residential properties was 33%. 

If you didn't receive a reassessment notice, please fill out this form to request that one be emailed and/or mailed to you. In the meantime, you can also use this interactive tool to view the proposed assessment values for every Pittsylvania County property. You can also use this tool to view the residential sales that were used in Brightminds' sales study

Please review this page of advice and tips for property owners so that you can prepare for these meetings. Those who cannot make an in-person meeting can send an email to Brightminds regarding any concerns or questions. 

Remember: the reassessment process only pertains to property values; the Board of Supervisors will set the tax rate in early 2022.

  1. Pittsylvania County Extends Reassessment Certification by Three Months

    Pittsylvania County has extended the reassessment process by 90 days. This will allow for the improvement of the customer service experience and will allow the Virginia Department of Taxation to serve in an advisory capacity. Read on...
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You can also view the transcript of this podcast here.

What is the Purpose of Reassessment?

Legally required by the Commonwealth of Virginia, reassessment is when up-to-date property values are determined for an entire locality or municipality. Updated values are determined through photographs, aerial images, and observations from a trained crew of property assessors. There are many complicated formulas and factors involved in determining and updating property values, which are kept by the Commissioner of the Revenue. Here is more detailed information about reassessment.This graphic explains what reassessment is and how it benefits the taxpayer

These updated values are important because they ensure that every property owner pays appropriate taxes based upon up-to-date market values. In other words, the reassessment process ensures that the tax burden is distributed equitably and fairly. We want to make sure that some citizens don’t have a higher share of the tax burden than their property actually warrants, and we also don’t want to see citizens "fly under the radar" and avoid paying taxes on the actual value of their property. 

These values are kept on file by the Commissioner of the Revenue and are used in concurrence with the tax rate to generate real estate tax bills. Counties with populations of more than 50,000 are required to perform a reassessment at least every four years. 

Reassessment Timeline Revisions for Pittsylvania County's 2022 Reassessment

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Brightminds, Pittsylvania County's Reassessment Contractor

Work for Pittsylvania County's 2022 reassessment began in late 2020. Pittsylvania County does not complete the reassessment process itself, as some larger localities do; instead, the Board of Supervisors has elected to hire appraisal companies to complete the process, ensuring more transparency. 

Among the three companies that put in bids to complete Pittsylvania County's reassessment, Brightminds was chosen because they are local, high energy, use technology well, and had the lowest price point.

Skip to the two and a half minute mark of the top podcast to hear from Brightminds' Managing Partner William Cole about reassessment and the company's methods that differentiate them from other reassessment companies.

Process: Market Value and Assumptions

During a Work Session for the Board of Supervisors in March, William Cole, the Managing Partner of Pittsylvania County's assessment contractor, Brightminds, LLC, explained his team's valuation process and provided some demonstrations and example homes and how they would be valued. For instance, Cole explained the quality grading system - which ranges from A at best to E at worst - and showed where different homes would fit into that system. Cole also explained the difference between quality and condition: condition is the current state of the materials, whereas quality is the material's overall grade.  

The reassessment team considers all types of information, including quality and condition, list price versus sold price over the four year period, construction cost comparison, and year over years statistics, when determining what the fair market value for a property is. Fair market value is the amount a typical, informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property with the following conditions:  

  • The seller and buyer are not related
  • The seller is willing, but not under pressure to sell, while the buy is willing but not under obligation to buy
  • The property is on the market for a reasonable amount of time
  • The payment is in cash or its equivalent and any required financing is typical for that type of property

The reassessment team will always aim to value a property at 100% of the fair market value. 

The letter sent out to property owners regarding the reassessment process stated that if the reassessment team could not see the interior of a home or building, then assumptions would need to be applied. 

Assumptions simply means that the reassessment team will have to assume that the interior of your home is similar in condition and quality to its exterior, which is how the reassessment process has always worked. 

Again, the reassessment process has always involved assumptions about things - such as the interior of a home - that the reassessment team cannot see. Pittsylvania County staff opened communication with the public by sending letters to encourage residents who wanted the reassessment team to view the condition or quality of their home's interior to fill out the information form or even request an in-person visit. This would have been beneficial for someone who's home appears or is nicer on the outside than the inside. 

Methods: Technology and Aerial Photography

“This reassessment process is extremely important for ensuring that all of our property owners pay their fair share of taxes. We have gone with a completely different reassessment process this year to ensure that the results are as accurate as possible.” - Bob Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors

One major element that distinguished Brightminds, LLC, from other assessment companies: Brightminds utilizes drone technology to capture aerial images of properties. This ensures more equalized, fair, and accurate data about every property. 

Typically, the only information assessors would have to go on was previous building data and frontal pictures of homes, which led to unequal amounts of information from each property. By utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles, the crews were able to collect more comprehensive and equal information on each property. The drone photography was then used to identify which properties require an in-person visit.

"The property is not just the dwelling; it's the overall site, and that drone picture allows you to see the overall site," explains William Cole, Managing Partner at Brightminds. 

All drone photos were captured between the fall of 2020 and early May of 2021. Clearly identified, certified FAA pilots with Brightminds utilized different takeoff points to complete drone flyovers. Assessors examined the photographs taken by the drones and flagged the properties that do not match previous records and need to be examined in person. Brightminds conducted in-person visits to properties where discrepancies are found throughout the late spring and early summer of 2021. 

A poorly worded letter that was sent out from Pittsylvania County regarding the reassessment process implied that the reassessment team would visit every property in-person and request to view the interior of every structure. Please view this press release from Pittsylvania County regarding a miscommunication on this matter and read this apology and clarification letter, which was sent out to property owners.The Pittsylvania County reassessment team CANNOT enter your home UNLESS you invite them in. They would never enter your home without your direct invitation. 

December Work Session Updates

Brightminds utilizes three UAV (drone pilots). These pilots possess the following FAA Part 107 Certificates: 

  • Certificate # 4390777 (issued 5/29/20);
  • Certificate # 4228967 (issued 2/23/19); and
  • Certificate # 3959936 (issued 4/15/18).

March Work Session Updates

State Laws about Reassessment 

Virginia State Codes § 58.1-3250 through § 58.1-3355 governs the reassessment of real property for Virginia localities. The State Code includes sections regarding general information about reassessment cycles, who can perform a reassessment, reassessment valuation procedures and practices, the involvement of the Commissioner of the Revenue, the levy of taxes, public disclosure and access to records, tax to constitute lien, and administrative and judicial review