Submit Your 2011 Real Estate Assessment Review by March 3, 2011.
A review may be requested if you feel your property is appraised above or below its fair market value, if your assessment is not equitable with similar properties in your area, or if you discover an error in the data or characteristics of the property. As Loudoun County real estate taxes have increased, many taxpayers have begun to look for ways to reduce their tax payments. One common method of accomplishing this is filing a tax appeal. However, since tax appeal procedure affords relief to very few taxpayers, the decision of whether to file an appeal will require a cursory understanding of how the process works.
Start a file that contains the completed "Real Estate Assessment Application for Review" form and all supporting documentation.
I recommend starting a file and collecting all of the data you believe will be needed to assist the Assessors Office in making an informed review of the assessment. Start by getting a copy of the "2011 Real Estate Assessment Application for Review" form. This can be found online http://inter1.loudoun.gov/reaa/reviewform.aspx or you may get a copy from the Office of the County Assessor or at a Loudoun County Public Library. Review the form, including instructions, and complete the hard copy of the form. All relevant information must be included to have your application considered. Add this hard copy to your file and also add any supporting documentation you used to complete the application to your file. Supporting documentation may include physical description of property and its condition, recent sales and/or appraisals to support your estimate of fair market value. I also strongly encourage you to add color photographs that support your Application.
Does your property contain substandard or unusual characteristics?
If your property contains characteristics such as flood plain (frequent, 50, 100, 500 year), steep slopes, non-perk, building code violations, zoning nonconformance or a similar characteristic that negatively impacts the value of your property this may be considered. This documentation must also be added to your file so that it may later be submitted along with your application. If you have documentation of this characteristic from the appropriate County agency or licensed professional substantiating your claim it is more likely to be considered.
Commercial and Industrial Applicants
If your property generates income and expenses you may have already responded to the Office of the County Assessors prior request pursuant to the Code of Virginia 58.1-3294. If you have responded please add this information to your file. Determine if the information provided is accurate and if there is additional economic information that may be useful to the Assessors Office to appeal the assessment. If additional information is to be used it must accompany the application and must be verified by Office of the Assessor.
Determine whether or not you want to represent yourself before the Assessors Office on this appeal.
Now that your file is complete, do you believe the Assessor should downwardly assess your property? If so, decide whether you would like to represent yourself in front of the Assessors Office for filing and your hearing or whether you want to have an experienced attorney represent you in this matter. Remember not all cases require an attorney however, some property owners may greatly benefit from the services of a local attorney. If you choose to represent yourself go back to the 2011 Real Estate Assessment Application and the Assessors website and carefully review all of the information. Then follow all instructions and include all requested information to file your Application. If you choose to hire an attorney to represent you, contact the attorney and request a free consultation. The attorney will greatly appreciate the time you have spent collecting all relevant information and will be able to accurately advise you of how to proceed.
Property Owners may appeal to the Assessors office and or the BOE
Loudoun County Property owners have the right to appeal their assessment disputes to the Office of the County Assessor and or the Board of Equalization (BOE). The Office of the Assessor prefers to hear all assessment disputes prior to the BOE Appeal, however, it is the property owners right to appeal the assessment directly to the BOE. The BOE is independent of the Office of the County Assessor. The above information is ONLY intended to describe the appeal process with the Loudoun Office of the County Assessor. For further information with regards to BOE appeals please contact the Board at (703) 777-0512 or locate them online. Loudoun County also has additional ways to lower a property owner tax liability. These methods are specific to the property owner and or the type of property being taxed. It is recommended that you utilize the Additional Sources below to more fully understand these methods or contact a local attorney.
Kindly note and remember that my response is merely a general comment on the law related to your question, and NOT legal advice or opinion. Also, your question and my response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between us. You cannot rely upon what I have written, because I do not have all of the information that I need to advise you or render an opinion. Even simple facts you have not shared can completely change my answer. For me to give you legal advice or opinion, you would need to hire me to be your lawyer, and then we would need to discuss this in detail and go over the documents. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations governing tax practice, you are hereby advised that written advice contained herein (if any) was not written or intended to be used (and cannot be used) by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.