How does the city determine the assessed value of my property?
By state law, the assessed value of a property must reflect its current market value. For single-family homes, the City Assessor uses a sales comparison approach; that is, your property is compared to other similar properties that have recently sold prior to the January 1 date of assessment. The Assessor, for the purpose of valuation, groups properties with similar characteristics into logical "neighborhoods" also known as "study groups".

Sales in each "study group" are compared to the assessed values. After adjusting for differences between properties, these sales are used as a guide to determine the proper assessment for all other properties in the neighborhood. If sales prices in your "study group" increase, the market value of your property may also increase even though your property has not sold or otherwise changed.

For commercial properties, assessments are determined by a combination of methods, including the sales comparison approach described above, a construction cost approach, and most commonly an income approach. The income approach uses an analysis of relationship of rental income to market value sales price.

For all properties, the real estate assessments must reflect 100% of fair market value, as of January 1 per Virginia Code 58.1-3201.

Show All Answers

1. How does the city determine the assessed value of my property?
2. How does the city maintain its property records?
3. May I compare my assessment to other properties?
4. What should I do if I believe that my new assessment is incorrect?