Photography By Tommy Stafford
Nelson County Life Magazine Â©2008
Nelson Residents Wait to Appeal Their Most Recent Tax Assessment
Imagine your taxes going up 600% since the last assessment in 2003. That’s the surprise that waited on some Nelson property owners last week when they opened the mail. NCL has spoken with several owners who report their assessments on land increasing anywhere from 4X to 6 X the last assessment. Generally speaking the assessment on buildings doubled.
When we visited the courthouse Monday afternoon a steady stream of property owners showed up to discuss their the assessments on the first of seven days set aside for appeals hearings. Many folks we spoke with are very concerned about even being able to pay their taxes, some going from $3000.00 to $10,000.00!
If you wish to appeal your current assessment, below you will find a schedule of times you can go in person to the courthouse.
The County Assessor’s hearings on the Reassessment will be held in the County Court House. Please check in with the receptionist located in the main hall on the first floor. If you wish to discuss your assessment, you may telephone (434) 263-7075 for an appointment, or you may come in during any of the times shown, and you will be seen as soon as possible. Due to the thousands of notices mailed out, our telephone lines will be busy and we will appreciate your patience. Note: please have this notice available when calling.
The following dates and times apply to walk-ins, as well as appointments.
Monday, January 14, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 15, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday, January 16, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday, January 17, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Monday, January 21, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday, January 22, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Wednesday, January 23, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday, January 24, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Here’s more from:
WINGATE AND ASSOCIATES, LTD., REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS
CONTACT HAROLD WINGATE 1-800-277-2799
PROPERTY REASSESSMENT IN PERSPECTIVE
As most property owners are aware, rural acreage properties have experienced a tremendous increase in market value in recent years. This is true, not only in Nelson County, but in other Virginia rural counties as well. Consequently, rural land, and particularly acreage tracts, will show a much larger increase in value than residential or commercial properties.
Property owners should be aware that the basic requirements of a reassessment are to bring all assessments to current market value and equalize assessments with similar properties. Amount of increase is not, of itself, indicative of an erroneous assessment.
Reassessment notices will show the assessed values for 2007 and the proposed assessed values for 2008. â€œLand Useâ€ assessments are not shown on these notices. Computer printouts of County-wide proposed assessments will be available for public view at the Public Library and the Nelson County Courthouse in Lovingston. These lists will give property owners an opportunity to compare their proposed assessments to other comparable properties.
The real estate tax rate for 2008 will be set by the Board of Supervisors based on the 2008-2009 fiscal year budget. It is impossible to determine the exact amount of taxes applicable to each property, until the new tax rate is set by the Board.
The reassessment process began in the fall of 2006, with a study of real estate sales for 2006. As work continued, sales for the first half of 2007 were also examined and considered, as market value was estimated on all County properties.
In collecting sales information and in the assessments, the reassessment office staff considers location, construction cost, quality of construction, condition of the buildings, etc., in order for the sales data to be compared, for assessment purposes, with the various properties in different neighborhoods throughout Nelson County. No sales or construction costs outside Nelson County were used in the reassessment.
Sales which were higher or lower than typical sales were not considered in the assessments. These would include family transactions and sales which took place because of pressure on the part of the buyer or seller. This can occur when there is an immediate need to raise money and time will not allow for the property to be properly exposed to the open market. This may, then, result in a sale for less than market value. It is also possible that an adjoining owner may pay more than market value in order to protect his existing property.
Land tracts of similar size, use, etc., must be used when comparing assessments. For example, a small acreage house site will reflect a much higher value per acre than a larger acreage property, even though the two may adjoin.
We would encourage property owners to compare their assessments with similar properties in order to determine if the assessments are fair and equitable. If you feel your assessment is out of line with similar properties, or over market value, it should be brought to the Assessor’s attention along with supporting facts which can be used in reconsidering your assessment. Percentage of increase above the old assessed value is not, by itself, grounds for an appeal. Please remember the last reassessment was five years ago and does not represent todayâ€™s market value.
Owners of a manufactured home assessed as personal property, need to be aware that water and septic systems are assessed as real estate and will be included on the landownerâ€™s reassessment notice under “Buildings”. The water and septic systems are always assessed to the landowner, regardless of ownership of the manufactured home.
Again we urge property owners to keep in mind that Reassessments are not conducted to raise taxes, but rather are required by State Law to bring all assessments to current market value and to assure uniformity of assessments.