Starting in 2015, the City will bill real estate taxes on the fiscal year. In order to incorporate the switch, 2015 will be a "short tax year" – the bill will only show one installment, due on June 5, 2015. Your tax bill will return to two installments with the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) real estate bill, due to mail in late October. On the FY2016 bill, the first installment will be due December 5, 2015 and the second installment will be due June 5, 2016.
Why Did the City Make This Change?
The City's budget is completed on a fiscal year basis and runs from July 1 each year to June 30 of the next year. (For example, FY2015 starts July 1, 2014 and ends June 30, 2015.) The City Council voted unanimously for the ordinance, which makes the switch to fiscal year billing, in order to make the budgeting process more accurate each year. Many localities throughout Virginia are making the switch to fiscal year real estate billing for the same reason. You can read the full text of the ordinance here, via MuniCode. You can also learn more about the vote at the City Council meeting: watch the video or read the five-page staff report explaining why the change was needed.
By State law, real estate assessments are done as of January 1 of each year. Accordingly, the FY2016 bill you will receive in December 2015 will be calculated based on the January 1, 2015 assessed value of your home.