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F.C. Real Estate Assessments Up 3.89% Overall, City Hall Says

The City of Falls Church released its overview of real estate assessments as of Jan. 1, 2020 today, and the overall value is up a solid 3.87 percent.   

According to the City, the total taxable assessed value for all properties in the city, as of Jan. 1, 2020, is $4,450,079,500 ($4.45 billion), a 3.89 percent increase from Jan. 1, 2019. New construction, valued at $47.6 million, accounts for 28.57 percent of the increase in assessed value in the City, and market appreciation accounts for the remainder.     

Assessments of individual properties will be mailed to property owners in late February, and updated assessment information will be posted on the City website by Tuesday, Feb. 18, according to City officials.     

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The new assessments, which will form the basis for tax collections beginning in July after the City Council sets the tax rate for the coming fiscal year. That will happen with the adoption of the FY21 budget at the end of April, with a revision, if necessary, of the current rate of $1.355 per $100 of assessed valuation.

With today’s announcement, residential new construction accounted for $21.3 million of growth; commercial new construction account for $26.3 million of growth.

Overall commercial property values increased 5.98 percent since January 2019 and multi-family property values increased 3.11 percent; overall residential real estate values increased 3.42 percent over the last year.

Single family home and townhomes had varying changes but overall were up 3.83 percent and 3.74 percent respectively; and residential condominiums had varying changes but overall increased 1.31 percent.

The City press release reiterated that, as set forth in the Virginia Constitution, real estate is assessed at 100 percent of fair market value. The City’s Office of Real Estate Assessment calculates property value annually using mass appraisal techniques that are standard in the real estate assessment industry.

The notice of assessment is an appraisal of the fair market value of the property; it is not a tax bill. Property tax payments will be due in two installments on Dec. 7, 2020 and June 7, 2021; property owners will receive bills prior to these dates.

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The real estate tax rate will be determined on April 27 when the Falls Church City Council adopts the Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget and Capital Improvements Program and sets the tax rate. The Fiscal Year 2021 Proposed Budget will be presented to City Council on March 9. Public hearings on the budget will be held on March 23 and April 13, with anticipated adoption on April 27. To see the complete budget schedule, visit www.fallschurchva.gov/Budget.

Individual assessments are mailed in late February. After evaluating the assessment, homeowners wondering if their assessment is correct should ask the question, “Would my home sell for the assessed value if I put it on the market?” If the answer is “yes,” the assessment is probably accurate. If the answer is “no,” contact the Office of Real Estate Assessment at 703-248-5022 (TTY 711).

Deadlines for assessment appeals are Friday, April 3, 2020, for an Office of Real Estate Assessment review and Friday, June 5, 2020 for a Board of Equalization review. More information about the assessment review process is available at www.fallschurchva.gov/AssessmentProcess.

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