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County Real Estate Assessments Show Decline


February 26, 2010

Contact: Richard Sebastian, Director, Real Estate Assessment Division

Phone: (757) 253-6888



James City County taxable real estate assessments declined approximately .9% from $11.2 billion to $11.1 billion. Reductions in assessments lowered the actual taxable value approximately 1.2 percent, but that reduction was partially offset by new development. Approximately 9,000 properties will receive assessment reductions when change-in-assessment notices are mailed on February 26.


The Real Estate Assessment Division has assessed all real property based on the fair market value of the property as of January 1, 2010. The new values will be effective for fiscal tax years 2011 (7/1/10-6/30/11) and 2012 (7/1/11-6/30/12).


James City’s state licensed appraisers analyze current sales and the assessment-sales ratios in order to determine whether a property assessment should be increased, reduced or remain the same. Properties are analyzed by assessment areas, which are based on common land uses, types and ages of buildings, value range and other locational characteristics. A nationally recognized computer valuation system is used to appraise the properties.


Property reassessment reviews may be requested from February 26 to March 29 by calling (757) 253-6650 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. An appraiser will review the assessment to insure that the property information is correct, and to confirm that it represents fair market value and is equitable with other similar properties. Most changes, including reductions, are made in this administrative review period.  If the issue is not resolved by phone the property owner may request that an appraiser visit the property. Property owners will be notified by mail if the assessment is revised.


Property owners who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review may file an appeal in writing with the Board of Equalization; the deadline for filing Board of Equalization appeals is April 28.
How much a property owner will pay in taxes is determined by multiplying a tax rate times the assessed property value.  The current tax rate is $0.77 per $100 of value.  The Board of Supervisors adopts the tax rate when it adopts its annual budget.  The expected adoption date for the budget for the year beginning July 1, 2010, is expected to be May 11, 2010.  The County Administrator’s Proposed Budget will be released in early April and a public hearing on both he budget and the proposed tax rate will be held on April 27, 2010.


If the Board of Supervisors keeps the tax rate at its current level, a home assessed at $250,000 would pay $1,925 in taxes, half due Dec 5, 2010, and half due June 5, 2011.  That tax payment could be less if a property owner qualifies for a tax relief program for elderly and disabled citizens. 


For information on the County’s real estate tax relief program for elderly and disabled citizens, please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue at (757) 253-6695. The program provides tax relief to homeowners who are 65 or older and those who are permanently and totally disabled if they meet certain income and financial worth qualifications.


The Commissioner of the Revenue also administers the land use assessment program which provides for tax deferrals for qualifying forested and agricultural land. Reduced real estate taxation is also available to properties with conservation and preservation easements.



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