Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
Chapter 32. Real Property Tax

§ 58.1-3331. Public disclosure of certain assessment records.

A. All property appraisal cards or sheets within the custody of a county, city or town assessing officer, except those cards or sheets containing information made confidential by § 58.1-3, shall be open for inspection, after the notice of reassessment is mailed as provided in § 58.1-3330, the normal office hours of such official by any taxpayer, or his duly authorized representative, desiring to review such cards or sheets.

B. Any taxpayer, or his duly authorized representative, whose real property has been assessed for taxation shall, upon request, be allowed to examine the working papers used by any such assessing official in arriving at the appraised and assessed value of such person's land and any improvements thereon.

C. Upon request of any taxpayer or his duly authorized representative, the assessing officer of the governing body shall make available information regarding the methodology employed in the calculation of a property's assessed value to include the capitalization rate used to determine the property's value, a list of comparable properties or sales figures considered in the valuation, and any other market surveys, formulas, matrices, or other factors considered in determining the value of the property. Upon request of a taxpayer, or his duly authorized representative, whose property has been assessed for taxation, the assessing officer shall provide a written explanation or justification for an increase in the property's assessed value. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require disclosure of information that is prohibited from disclosure pursuant to §§ 58.1-3 and 58.1-3294.

D. The assessing officer of the governing body may fix and promulgate a limited period within normal office hours when such records shall be available for inspection and copying, but such period of time may not be less than four hours per day on Monday through Friday, except on such days when the office is otherwise closed.

E. Notwithstanding any special or general laws to the contrary, in any appeal of the assessment of residential property filed by a taxpayer as an owner of real property containing less than four residential units (i) to the board of equalization pursuant to § 58.1-3379, or (ii) to circuit court pursuant to § 58.1-3984, the assessing officer shall send the taxpayer a written notice provided for in this subsection. Such notice shall be on the first page of such notice and be in bold type no smaller than fourteen points and mailed to, or posted at, the last known address of the taxpayer as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records. Notice under this subsection shall satisfy the notice requirements of this section. In an appeal before the board of equalization, such written notice may be contained in the written notice of the hearing date before the board. For all applicable assessments on or after January 1, 2012, such written notice shall: (a) be given at least 45 days prior to the hearing of the taxpayer's appeal; (b) include a statement informing the taxpayer of his rights under this section to review and obtain copies of all of the assessment records pertaining to the assessing officer's determination of fair market value of such real property; and (c) advise the taxpayer of his right to request that the assessor make a physical examination of the subject property.

F. If, within at least five days prior to any action by a court under § 58.1-3984 or by a board of equalization under § 58.1-3379, the assessing officer fails to disclose or make available for inspection any information required to be disclosed or made available for inspection and copying under this section, then the assessing official and the applicable local government shall not be allowed to introduce such information or use it in any other manner in any such appeal.

Code 1950, § 58-792.02; 1975, c. 615; 1979, c. 577; 1980, c. 124; 1983, c. 161; 1984, c. 675; 2010, c. 552; 2011, cc. 184, 232; 2015, c. 244.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.