Tax Relief

Tax Relief Program Changes

On July 8, 2019, the Falls Church City Council voted to amend the City’s Tax Relief Ordinance. The new changes are designed to offer more assistance and expand benefits for our residents.

In 2018, a Tax Relief Working Group was tasked with reviewing the City’s existing tax relief program, comparing it to neighboring jurisdictions programs and making recommendations to improve the program for our citizens. The Working Group was led by the City Treasurer and consisted of members from the City's Human Services Advisory Board, the City's Director of Housing and Human Services, a program participant, a City Council liaison member, and the Chief Deputy Treasurer. 

The Working Group recommended the following changes to the ordinance, which became effective on July 1, 2019. 

  • 0% interest on deferred taxes beginning July 1, 2019.
  • Existing deferral balances remain, but will accrue no further interest after July 1, 2019.
  • Applications process to use Gross Income – no deductions, except existing disability deductions;
  • Lower asset limit to $400,000;
  • Grandfather current recipients (3) with assets over $400,000 but below %540,001 who would otherwise qualify for relief to allow them to continue in the program (Note: Council added a sunset clause to limit this exception to 2 years – through June 30, 2021);
  • No change to disability deductions (allow either 50% of SSD or $7500 other disability income deduction);
  • $10,000 income deduction allowed for non-spouse, non-owner income (Caregiver exclusion);
  • Allow 2 year retroactive limit for veteran tax relief and/or disability exemption;
  • Allow deferral only for applicants with assets between $400,000 and $540,000 whose income limits otherwise meet the criteria for tax relief;
  • Allow deferral only for applicants whose homes have an assessed value (AV) of more than 125% of the City’s average AV in any given year;
  • Re-write ordinance to move tax relief from a calendar year to a fiscal year basis, in order to align with the real estate billing year; 

Tax Relief Programs for Elderly and/or Disabled Residents 



​Primary Qualifiers


Tax relief is a program for eligible seniors and disabled residents which provides relief of taxes through exemptions and deferrals. Tax relief is available to income-eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities through the Treasurer's Office. The deadline to submit the application is September 15 of each year. To qualify, the property owner must meet the follow two requirements:

  1. Applicants must be current residents of the City of Falls Church and must have established their residency prior to December 31, 2018 and the property must be the primary residence in 2019. 
  2. Applicants must be at least 65 years of age, or permanently and totally disabled.
  3. Total financial worth, exclusive of the dwelling, household furnishings and one acre of land upon which the dwelling is situated, must not exceed $400,000 as of December 31, 2018.
  4. If you have a Reverse Mortgage or if your property is held in a trust, please provide a copy of the trust documents or the Reverse Mortgage Agreement with your application

​Real Estate Tax Relief Eligibility


Relief means you are exempted from a specified amount of your taxes. The amount will depend on your household income and assets. This amount will be deducted from the taxes. Depending on the amount of taxes you owe, all or some of the taxes may be exempted. The household income limits to be eligible for a 2019 are:
  • Income Limit for Households Eligible for Relief and Deferral: $38,840 and below (0-40% AMI) receives 100% relief*. 
  • Income Limit for Households Eligible for Relief and Deferral: $38,841 to $58,260 (41-60% AMI) receives 75% relief*. The balance of any taxes owed may be deferred. 
  • Income Limit for Households Eligible for Relief and Deferral: $58,261 to $62,100 (61-80% AMI) receives 50% relief*. The balance of any taxes owed may be deferred. 
  • Gross combined household income limit: $62,101 to $97,100 (81-100% AMI) deferral only*. Applicants must be owner-occupants of the residential property in the City of Falls Church on December 31, 2018 and it must continue to be their primary residence in 2019. 
*Assets must not exceed $400,000.

​Deferral Eligibility

  • Property owners with incomes between $62,101 - $97,100 are not eligible for relief, but can elect to defer all of their taxes. (Deferral means you don't pay your real estate tax for the grant year). 
  • Please indicate if you wish to defer. Deferred taxes will bear 0% interest from July 1, 2019 going forward. Any deferred taxes incurred prior to 7/1/19 will bear the interest set by the HUD for each specific calendar year. Deferred taxes will be collected when the property is sold, there is a change of ownership or upon death of the tax payer. 
  • *If your assets are between $400,000 and $540,000 and your income is between $0 and $97,100, you do not qualify for relief, however, you are eligible to defer 100% of your taxes at 0% interest.

​Personal Property / Automobile Relief Eligibility


  • Personal Property Tax Relief Maximum Grant of $25.00 + Decal Relief of $33.00. Total $58.00; 
  • Gross Combined Household Income limit for Eligible Households: $20,000 and below; 
  • If the automobile for which the relief is sought is co-owned, all owners must be sixty-five (65) years of age or older, except the applicant's spouse need not have attained the age of sixty-five (65). Relief shall apply to only one vehicle per household. Leased vehicles are not eligible for relief. 
  • Total financial worth must not exceed $150,000;

Applications for 2019 Tax Relief 

If this is your first time applying for tax relief as an Elderly and/or Disabled Resident: 


If you qualified and received tax relief last year as an Elderly and/or Disabled Resident: 
The deadline to submit either application is September 15, 2019. 

Relief for Disabled Veterans or their Surviving Spouses

Relief Eligibility

  • The applicant must be a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and be 100% permanent and totally disabled and the disability must be 100% service related.
  • Or; the applicant must be the surviving spouse of a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who was 100% permanent and totally disabled and the disability must have been 100% service related, as long as the death of the veteran occurs on or after January 1, 2011.

Applications for 2019 Tax Relief

The deadline to submit either application is September 15, 2019. 

Relief for Surviving Spouse of Service Members Killed in Action

Relief Eligibility

  • The applicant must be a surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action and who occupies real property to be exempted as his/her principal place of residence; and who has not remarried since death of spouse.
  • The property must be owned or held in certain types of trust by the surviving spouse; Ownership need not be solely by the surviving spouse, but if property is owned by surviving spouse together with others; then special rules will apply to calculate the amount of the exemption.
  • The applicant must sign a written statement, stating surviving spouse’s name, name of any other owners of the property and certifying that the property is occupied as the surviving spouse’s principal residence.
  • The applicant must provide documentation from the United States Department of Defense indicating the date that the deceased spouse was killed in action (a Department of Defense death certificate).

Applications for 2019 Tax Relief

The deadline to submit either application is September 15, 2019.