Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
Chapter 32. Real Property Tax
12/1/2020

Article 7. Reassessment/Assessment (Valuation) Procedure and Practice.

§ 58.1-3280. Assessment of values.

Every assessor or appraiser so designated under this chapter shall, as soon as practicable after being so designated, proceed to ascertain and assess the fair market value of all lands and lots assessable by them, with the improvements and buildings thereon. They shall make a physical examination thereof if required by the taxpayer, and in all other cases where they deem it advisable.

Code 1950, § 58-790; 1975, cc. 51, 547; 1976, c. 676; 1983, c. 161; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3281. When commissioner of the revenue to ascertain ownership of real estate; tax year.

Each commissioner of the revenue shall commence, annually, on January 1, and proceed without delay to ascertain all the real estate in his county or city, as the case may be, and the person to whom the same is chargeable with taxes on that day. The beginning of the tax year for the assessment of taxes on real estate shall be January 1 and the owner of real estate on that day shall be assessed for the taxes for the year beginning on that day.

The commissioner, before making out his land book, shall assess the value of any building and enclosure not previously assessed, found to be of the value of $100 and upwards. The value shall be added to the value at which the land was previously charged.

Code 1950, §§ 58-796, 58-810; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3282. When land and improvements owned separately; how assessed.

When a public service corporation or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth does not own both a tract, piece or parcel of land and the improvements thereon, including leasehold improvements owned by the lessee which are to be removed by the lessee at the end of the lease term, the land and such improvements may be assessed separately.

Code 1950, § 58-773.1; 1952, c. 229; 1984, c. 675; 1988, c. 280.

§ 58.1-3283. Assessment of airspace owned separately from subjacent land surface.

When airspace is owned by anyone other than the owner of the subjacent land surface, the airspace and the surface will be separately assessed to their respective owners.

Code 1950, § 58-773.2; 1979, c. 431; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3284. Assessment of standing timber trees owned by person who owns land surface; when owned separately.

A. When the land surface and standing timber trees are owned by the same person, the value of the land, inclusive of the standing timber trees, shall be ascertained and assessed at such ascertained value.

B. In any case when the surface of the land is owned by one person and the standing timber trees thereon are owned by another, the relative value of each shall be determined and the owners shall be assessed with the value of their respective interests.

Code 1950, § 58-804; 1958, c. 314; 1970, c. 440; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 3, 172; 1975, c. 547; 1980, c. 360; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3284.1. Assessment of lots and open spaces in certain planned development subdivisions.

A. Residential or commercial property, which is part of a planned development which contains open or common space, which includes the right by easement, covenant, deed or other interest in real estate, to the use of the open or common space, shall be assessed at a value which includes the proportional share of the value of such open or common space.

All real property used for open or common space pursuant to this section shall be construed as having no value in itself for assessment purposes. Its only value lies in the value that is attached to the residential or commercial property which has a right by easement, covenant, deed or other interest.

"Open or common space" shall, for purposes of this section, include parks, parking areas, private streets, walkways, recreational facilities, natural or improved areas, lakes, ponds, recreational, community service, or maintenance buildings or structures, or any other property used and owned by an automatic membership corporation or association. It shall also include such property that is part of a planned residential development initially recorded before January 1, 1985, that is exempt from the requirements of the Property Owners' Association Act pursuant to § 55.1-1801 and did not include automatic membership in a membership corporation or association in its declaration.

B. No locality shall assess real estate taxes against a membership corporation or association for open or common space except as may be permitted pursuant to this section. Every locality shall reassess such open or common space, and the planned development of which it is part, as of the date of transfer of such open or common space to the association. The developer of such planned development shall pay all real estate taxes attributable to such open or common space at the time of transfer as provided in § 55.1-1802.

1985, c. 550; 1993, c. 956; 2005, c. 218.

§ 58.1-3284.2. Reassessment of residential property containing defective drywall.

A. As used in this section, "defective drywall" means the same as that term is defined in § 36-156.1.

B. An owner of residential property containing defective drywall may request the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official where the property is located to reassess the property. After confirmation by the local building official of the presence of defective drywall in accordance with subsection C, the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official shall (i) determine the amount by which the defective drywall has reduced the assessed value of the property, (ii) provide written notice to the owner of the reduction in value, and (iii) reassess the value of the property accordingly.

C. The local building official shall confirm the presence of defective drywall only after a review of the test results submitted to him from a testing agency that is approved by the building official and procured by the owner of the residential property.

D. The local governing body may, by ordinance, designate the residential property containing defective drywall as a rehabilitation district for purposes of granting the owner a partial real estate tax exemption pursuant to § 58.1-3219.4.

2011, cc. 34, 46.

§ 58.1-3284.3. Wetlands to be specially and separately assessed.

A. Whenever real property is assessed or reassessed, the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official shall consider, at the request of the property owner, specially and separately assessing at the fair market value all wetlands on such property, as defined in § 62.1-44.3. If the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official disagrees with the property owner as to the presence of wetlands, then the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official shall recognize (i) the National Wetlands Inventory Map prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (ii) a wetland delineation map confirmed by a Preliminary Jurisdictional Determination, or (iii) an Approved Jurisdictional Determination issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and provided by the property owner in making his determination, and such map also shall be considered in any administrative or judicial appeal.

B. When wetlands on property are specially and separately assessed, the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official shall set forth upon the land book (i) the area and the fair market value of such portion of each tract consisting of wetlands and (ii) the area and the fair market value of the remaining portion of each tract.

C. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official from specially and separately assessing at the fair market value wetlands, as well as any other type of lands, even if not requested by the property owner.

D. Under the provisions of this section, the actual physical use of the property shall be the only determining factor of its land use value.

2012, c. 742; 2018, c. 603.

§ 58.1-3285. Assessment and reassessment of lots when subdivided or rezoned.

Whenever a tract of land is subdivided into lots under the provisions of law and plats thereof are recorded, subsequent to any general reassessment of real estate in the city or county in which such real estate is situated, each lot in such subdivision shall be assessed and shown separately upon the land books, as required by law. The commissioner of the revenue, in assessing each such lot, shall assess the same at fair market value as of January 1 of the year next succeeding the year in which such plat is recorded, without regard to the value at which such tract of land was assessed as acreage but with regard to other assessments of lots in such city or county. Such assessment shall stand until the next general reassessment of real estate in such city or county. The commissioner of the revenue shall also assess or reassess, as required, any lot, tract, piece or parcel of land which has been rezoned, reclassified or as to which any exception has been made, by the zoning authorities of the county. Further, the commissioner of the revenue shall assess or reassess, as required, any lot, tract, piece or parcel of land upon or to which improvements have been made, such as hard surfacing of streets or roadways, or installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks and utilities, any one or all of which may add to the fair market value. Such an assessment shall be made with regard to other assessments of lots, tracts, pieces or parcels of land in the city or county. To such end the commissioner of the revenue shall be supplied by the city or county with the necessary data and records to indicate any rezoning, reclassification, exception or improvement.

Code 1950, § 58-772.1; 1950, p. 1017; 1954, c. 515; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3286. Mineral lands to be specially and separately assessed; severance tax.

The several commissioners of the revenue shall, as soon as practicable after January 1 of each year, specially and separately assess at the fair market value all mineral lands and the improvements thereon and shall enter the same on the land books of their respective counties separately from other lands charged thereon.

The commissioner, in assessing mineral lands, shall set forth upon the land book:

1. The area and the fair market value of such portion of each tract as is improved and under development;

2. The fair market value of the improvements upon each tract; and

3. The area and fair market value of such portion of each tract not under development.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law and subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of Buchanan County, the commissioner of the revenue of the county may reassess gas wells and related improvements on an annual basis, provided that such gas wells and related improvements shall be reassessed in the general reassessment for the locality, as required by § 58.1-3287, and provided further a settlement agreement between the County and a taxpayer may provide a methodology for determining fair market value.

In the alternative to the procedure outlined in subdivision 1 above, any county or city may impose by ordinance a severance tax on all coal and gases extracted from the land lying within its jurisdiction. The rate of such tax shall not exceed one percent of the gross receipts from such coal or gases. Any such county or city may further require any producer of such coal or gases and any common carrier to maintain records showing the quantities of coal and gases which they have produced or transported, respectively.

If the surface of the land is held by one person, and the coal, iron and other minerals, mineral waters, gas or oil under the surface are held by another person, the estate therein of each and the relative fair market value of their respective interests shall be ascertained by the commissioner. If the surface of the land and the coal, iron and other minerals, mineral waters, gas or oil under the surface are owned by the same person, the commissioner shall ascertain the fair market value of the land, exclusive of the coal, iron, other minerals, mineral waters, gas or oils. He shall also ascertain the fair market value of the coal, iron, other minerals, mineral waters, gas, and oils and shall assess each at such ascertained values, stating separately in every case the value of the surface of the land and the value of the coal, iron, other minerals, mineral waters, gas and oils under the surface.

The commissioner of the revenue of any county or city is authorized to enter into agreements with taxpayers pertaining to the fair market value of the property taxed under this section. All such agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2013, but prior to July 1, 2014, between the commissioner of the revenue of any county or city and any taxpayer are deemed to be bona fide and are valid and enforceable.

Code 1950, § 58-774; 1972, c. 715; 1976, c. 53; 1984, c. 675; 2009, c. 770; 2014, cc. 48, 179.

§ 58.1-3287. Mineral lands and minerals to be included in general reassessment of real estate.

Notwithstanding § 58.1-3286, whenever there is a general reassessment of real estate in any county or city, mineral lands and minerals shall be included in the general reassessment, but shall be separately assessed from other real estate, and the assessor or assessors shall be governed by the provisions of § 58.1-3286 in making the assessment. Taxes for each year on the mineral lands and minerals assessed under this section shall be extended by the commissioner of the revenue on the basis of the last general reassessment made prior to such year, subject to such changes as may be made by him in performing his annual duties under § 58.1-3286. In performing such annual duties he shall adjust the assessed values in such manner as to reflect such changes as may have occurred during the preceding year, especially such changes as may have operated to increase or decrease (i) the area and the value of such portion of each tract as is improved and under development, (ii) the value of the improvements upon each tract, and (iii) the area and value of such portion of each tract as shall not be under development.

Every county in which there are mineral lands shall have a general reassessment of real estate in the year prescribed by law, even though the greater part of the area of the county consists of mineral lands.

The Department shall render advisory aid and assistance of a technical nature to the assessor or assessors, in making a general reassessment of mineral lands and minerals, upon request of the governing body of the county or city, or to the commissioner of the revenue, upon his request, provided moneys are available to the Department to defray the cost thereof.

Code 1950, § 58-774.2; 1950, p. 1269; 1964, c. 296; 1983, c. 304; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3288. Assessment in name of "unknown owner.".

When the owner of any parcel of real property is unknown and the commissioner of the revenue has exercised due diligence to ascertain the owner of such parcel, such commissioner of the revenue is empowered on January 1 of each year to assess for taxation such parcel of real property in his county or city in the name of "unknown owner." Before such property is first assessed in the name of "unknown owner" each commissioner of the revenue shall advertise the description of the property in a local newspaper of general circulation once a week for two consecutive weeks preceding the first day of the year in which such first assessment is made and at the same time he shall make affidavit that he has used due diligence to ascertain the owner of the property.

Code 1950, § 58-770.1; 1956, c. 581; 1958, c. 32; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3289. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 58.1-3290. How land divided among several owners to be assessed.

When a tract or lot becomes the property of different owners in two or more parcels, subsequent to any general reassessment of real estate in the city or county in which such tract or lot is situated each of the two or more parcels shall be assessed and shown separately upon the land books, as required by law. The commissioner of the revenue, in assessing each lot or parcel, shall assess the same at its fair market value as of January 1 of the year next succeeding the year in which the tract or lot of land becomes the property of several owners, without regard to the value at which such tract of land was assessed as a whole, but with regard to other assessments of lots, pieces or parcels of land in the city or county. Such assessment shall stand until the next general reassessment of real estate in the city or county. Failure of the owner or person dividing and selling the land to record a plat thereof shall not relieve the commissioner of the revenue of the responsibility for assessing or reassessing any such tract of land when divided as provided for in this section.

Code 1950, § 58-773; 1954, c. 655; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3291. Valuation of repairs, additions and new buildings.

Any building and enclosure which may have been increased in value to $500 or upwards, by repairs or additions thereto, shall be assessed in the same manner as if they were new.

New buildings shall be assessed, whether entirely finished or not, at their actual value at the time of assessment.

Code 1950, §§ 58-811, 58-812; 1974, c. 133; 1983, c. 161; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3292. Assessment of new buildings substantially completed, etc.; extension of time for paying assessment.

In any county, city or town that has not adopted an ordinance pursuant to § 58.1-3292.1, upon the adoption of an ordinance so providing, all new buildings substantially completed or fit for use and occupancy prior to November 1 of the year of completion shall be assessed when so completed or fit for use and occupancy, and the commissioner of the revenue of such county, city or town shall enter in the books the fair market value of such building. No partial assessment as provided herein shall become effective until information as to the date and amount of such assessment is recorded in the office of the official authorized to collect taxes on real property and made available for public inspection. The total tax on any such new building for that year shall be the sum of (i) the tax upon the assessment of the completed building, computed according to the ratio which the portion of the year such building is substantially completed or fit for use and occupancy bears to the entire year, and (ii) the tax upon the assessment of such new building as it existed on January 1 of that assessment year, computed according to the ratio which the portion of the year such building was not substantially complete or fit for use and occupancy bears to the entire year. With respect to any assessment made under this section after September 1 of any year, the penalty for nonpayment by December 5 shall be extended to February 5 of the succeeding year.

Code 1950, § 58-811.1; 1954, c. 250; 1958, c. 77; 1960, c. 414; 1964, c. 308; 1980, c. 497; 1984, c. 675; 1999, c. 760.

§ 58.1-3292.1. Assessment of new buildings substantially completed in a county operating under the urban county executive form of government, and in certain other cities and counties; extension of time for paying assessment.

A. In the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William, and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park, upon the adoption of an ordinance so providing, all new buildings shall be assessed when substantially completed or fit for use and occupancy, regardless of the date of completion or fitness, and the commissioner of the revenue of such county, city or town shall enter in the books the fair market value of such building.

B. No partial assessment as provided herein shall become effective until information as to the date and amount of such assessment is recorded in the office of the official authorized to collect taxes on real property and made available for public inspection. The total tax on any such new building for that year shall be the sum of (i) the tax upon the assessment of the completed building, computed according to the ratio which the portion of the year such building is substantially completed or fit for use and occupancy bears to the entire year and (ii) the tax upon the assessment of such new building as it existed on January 1 of that assessment year, computed according to the ratio which the portion of the year such building was not substantially complete or fit for use and occupancy bears to the entire year.

C. With respect to any assessment made under this section after November 1 of any year, no penalty for nonpayment shall be imposed until the last to occur of (i) December 5 of such year or (ii) 30 days following the date of the official billing.

1999, c. 760; 2003, cc. 6, 581; 2007, c. 813.

§ 58.1-3293. Building, etc., when damaged or destroyed, value to be reduced.

When from natural decay or other causes any previously assessed building and enclosure as aforesaid, is either wholly destroyed or reduced in value below $100, the commissioner shall deduct from the charge against the owner the value at which such building and enclosure may have been assessed; and if the value of the building has been impaired by violence to the extent of $100 or more, the commissioner shall assess the building in its present condition and reduce the charge for the same to the amount so assessed. When any timberland heretofore assessed, the owner of the timber on which is also the owner of the land, is reduced in value to the extent of $200 or more by the removal of the timber therefrom, the commissioner shall assess the land in its then present condition and reduce the charge for the same to the amount so assessed.

Code 1950, § 58-813; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3294. Reports of income data by owners of income-producing realty; certification; confidentiality.

Any duly authorized real estate assessor, board of assessors, or department of real estate assessments may require that the owners of income-producing real estate in the county or city subject to local taxation, except property producing income solely from the rental of no more than four dwelling units, and except property being used exclusively as an owner-occupied property, not as a hotel, motel, or office building over 12,000 square feet, and not engaged in a retail or wholesale business where merchandise for sale is displayed, furnish to such assessor, board or department on or before a time specified, which time may be extended for not less than ninety days, upon application of the owner of such property statements of the income and expenses attributable over a specified period of time to each such parcel of real estate. Each such statement shall be certified as to its accuracy by an owner of the real estate for which the statement is furnished, or a duly authorized agent thereof. Any statement required by this section shall be kept confidential in accordance with the provisions of § 58.1-3. The failure of the owner of income-producing property, except property producing income solely from the rental of no more than four dwelling units, and except property being used exclusively as an owner-occupied property, not as a hotel, motel, or office building over 12,000 square feet, and not engaged in a retail or wholesale business where merchandise for sale is displayed, to furnish a statement of income and expenses as required by this section shall bar such owner or his representative from introducing into evidence, or using in any other manner, any of the required but not furnished income and expense information in any judicial action brought under § 58.1-3984. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use or consideration of any such statement of income and expense in a complaint before a board of equalization pursuant to § 58.1-3379, as long as it is submitted to the board no later than the appeal filing deadline of such board.

Code 1950, § 58-769.3:2; 1982, c. 619; 1984, c. 675; 1990, c. 671; 2000, c. 515; 2011, c. 200.

§ 58.1-3295. Assessment of real property; affordable housing.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in determining the fair market value of real property operated in whole or in part as affordable rental housing, in accordance with the provisions of (i) 26 U.S.C. § 42, 26 U.S.C. § 142 (d), 24 CFR § 983, 24 CFR § 236, 24 CFR § 241(f), 24 CFR § 221(d)(3), or any successors thereto; (ii) applicable state law; or (iii) local ordinances adopted by the locality wherein such real property is located, the duly authorized real estate assessor shall consider:

1. The contract rent and the impact of applicable rent restrictions;

2. Restrictions on the transfer of title or other restraints on alienation of the real property; and

3. The actual operating expenses and expenditures and the impact of any such additional expenses or expenditures. If an owner has two or more units of real property that (i) are operated in whole or in part as affordable rental housing and (ii) are controlled by a single restrictive use agreement regulating income and rent restrictions, and the owner has expenses and expenditures common to two or more such units, and such expenses and expenditures cannot practicably be attributed to a particular unit, then the owner has a right to have the assessor make a pro rata apportionment of such expenses and expenditures to each such unit based on each unit's assessed value as a percentage of the total assessed value of all such units. The provisions of this subdivision apply whether or not the units are in one tax parcel or multiple tax parcels.

B. The owner of real property that is operated in whole or in part as affordable rental housing in accordance with the definition of affordable rental housing established by ordinance or resolution of the locality in which the real property is located may make an application to the locality to have the real property assessed pursuant to this section. Notwithstanding the exception in § 58.1-3294 for an owner of four or fewer residential units, upon application by such an owner, the duly authorized real estate assessor may require the owner to furnish to such assessor, board, or department statements of the income and expenses attributable over a specified period of time to each such parcel of real estate in the manner required by § 58.1-3294 and to comply with all provisions of § 58.1-3294 applicable to properties with more than four rental dwelling units. The application shall be granted by the locality if (i) the owner charges rents at levels that meet the locality's definition of affordable housing and (ii) the real property does not have any pending building code violations at the time of the application.

The duly authorized real estate assessor shall also consider evidence presented by the property owner of other restrictions imposed by law that impact the variables set forth in this subsection.

C. Federal or state income tax credits with respect to affordable housing rental property within the purview of subsection A shall not be considered real property or income attributable to real property.

D. For property where only a portion of the units are operated as affordable housing, as defined in § 42 of the Internal Revenue Code or as required by state law or applicable local ordinance, only the portion determined to be affordable housing shall be subject to this section.

E. Notwithstanding any other provision in this section or other law, the real property governed by this section that is generating income as affordable housing shall be assessed using the income approach based on: the property's current use, income restrictions, provisions of any arm's-length contract including but not limited to restrictions on the transfer of title or other restraints on alienation of the real property, the requirements of subsection B, and all other provisions of this section.

2006, c. 688; 2009, c. 264; 2010, cc. 552, 791, 824; 2011, c. 137; 2013, c. 249.

§ 58.1-3295.1. Assessment of real property; residential rental apartments.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, in any appeal of the real property assessment of real property defined below as residential rental apartments in excess of four units filed by a taxpayer pursuant to § 58.1-3379, the board of equalization shall consider:

1. The actual gross income generated from such real property and any resultant loss in income attributable to vacancies, collection losses, and rent concessions;

2. The actual operating expenses and expenditures and the impact of any additional expenses or expenditures; and

3. Any other evidence relevant to determining fair market value of such real property.

B. Real property subject to this section shall be limited to residential rental apartments containing more than four units. Individual attached or detached single-family dwelling units, regardless of whether such dwelling units are rented, shall not be subject to this section.

C. For real property governed by this section, where only a portion of the real property is operated as residential rental apartments, the portion of such real property not operated as residential rental apartments shall not be subject to this section.

D. The valuation of residential rental apartments governed by this section shall be made by the board using the income approach in accordance with this section, except when (i) such real property has been sold since the previous assessment, in which case the board may consider the sales price of such property; (ii) improvements on such real property are being constructed or renovated, in which case the board may consider the market value of such property; or (iii) the value arrived at by the income approach is not otherwise in accordance with generally accepted appraisal practices and standards prescribed by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), in which case the board may consider the market value of such property.

2012, cc. 536, 707.

§ 58.1-3295.2. Assessment or exemption of certain real property conveyed or owned by a community land trust.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in determining the fair market value of structural improvements conveyed by a community land trust as defined in § 55.1-1200, subject to a ground lease having a term of at least 90 years, while retaining a preemptive option to purchase such structural improvements at a price determined by a formula that is designed to ensure that the improvements remain affordable in perpetuity to low-income and moderate-income families earning less than 120 percent of the area median income, adjusted for family size, the duly authorized real estate assessor shall consider:

1. Restrictions on the price at which the improvements may be sold, as evidenced by a ground lease or memorandum thereof duly recorded with the land records of the jurisdiction with taxing authority; and

2. The amount of debt incurred by the owner of the improvements as evidenced by a deed of trust or leasehold deed of trust on the improvements or underlying real property owned by the community land trust and that earns no interest and requires no repayment prior to satisfaction of any interest-earning promissory note or a subsequent transfer of the property, whichever comes first.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in determining the fair market value of real property owned by a community land trust, subject to a ground lease having a term of at least 90 years, while retaining a preemptive option to purchase any structural improvements on the real property at a price determined by a formula that is designed to ensure that the improvements remain affordable to low-income and moderate-income families earning less than 120 percent of the area median income, adjusted for family size, in perpetuity, the duly authorized real estate assessor shall utilize the income approach and, in so doing, shall consider the property's current use, the contract rent, the income restrictions, and provisions of any arms-length contract, including restrictions on the transfer of title or other restraints on the alienation of the real property.

2018, c. 436.