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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.
The important thing to remember is why reassessment is both required by state law and important for local government and the taxpayers: 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. We will be sharing lots more information about the reassessment process in the coming weeks and months.
The reassessment team will only enter your home if you invite them inside to survey something that you believe may impact your home’s value. This includes any renovations or damages since the last reassessment. If they can see things like flooring materials and furnishings they can get a much more accurate valuation of your home.
You do not need to invite them into your home, and can instead talk with them when they visit your home and send pictures.
The Board of Supervisors and many taxpayers were unsatisfied with the reassessment processes used in the past, so Pittsylvania County is working hard and utilizing new methods to ensure that taxes are fair and equitable. Allowing the reassessment team to view your home’s interior conditions, construction quality, and finish and furnishings (flooring type, baseboards, window treatment, etc.), as well as view any major damages or renovations that may have happened in the last few years, will help them to make a more accurate assessment of your home’s current value. This means that the more access you provide the more accurate your property will be valuated, and the more fair (not necessarily higher) your tax bill will be.
If the reassessment team can’t see the interior of your home then they will assume that the interior is similar in QUALITY and CONDITION to the exterior of your home. This does not automatically mean that the valuation will be higher. However, if your home’s interior is in significantly nicer or poorer shape than the exterior, it may be a good idea to provide the assessors with photographs or allow them inside. This is the same process that has been used for all previous reassessments.
Virginia Code § 58.1-3252 dictates that all Virginia counties with 50,000 or more residents must complete periodic reassessment of property values on a four year cycle. Those localities with less than 50,000 residents can operate on a six-year cycle, but since Pittsylvania County has more than 60,000 it completes the reassessment process every four years.