New F.C. Assessments Reveal Overall 4 Percent Housing Hike

The total taxable assessed value for all properties in the City of Falls Church as of Jan. 1, 2012, is $3,229,692,600, a four percent increase from January 1, 2011, the City’s Public Information Office revealed today.

`The numbers are marginally higher than anticipated by the City’s Office of Finance in its recent projections, and will be used by City Manager Wyatt Shields in the preparation of his recommended Fiscal Year 2013 budget that he will introduce next month. The City Council will vote on adoption of the budget in late April.

The City plans to mail assessments for 2012 by tomorrow, so property owners should receive the notices on or after next Tuesday, and updated assessment information will be posted on the City website Monday.

Overall residential real estate values increased 3.8 percent over the last year. Single family home values increased by four percent, town homes increased by 4.3 percent, and residential condominiums had varying changes.

Overall commercial property values increased 4.9 percent since January 2011. The real estate value of multi-family apartments increased five percent, large office buildings are up two percent and large retail properties are up two percent. The value of City hotels increased 4.2 percent.

As set forth in the Virginia Constitution, real estate is assessed at 100 percent of fair market value. The City reported that the City’s Office of Real Estate Assessment calculates property value annually using mass appraisal techniques that are standard in the real estate assessment industry.

Thus, the notice of assessment is an appraisal of the fair market value of the property. It is not a tax bill. Property tax payments will be due in two installments on June 5 and Dec. 5. Property owners will receive bills prior to these dates.

The real estate tax rate will be determined on April 23, 2012, when the Falls Church City Council adopts the Fiscal Year 2013 Operating Budget and Capital Improvements Program and sets the tax rate.

Public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2013 Proposed Operating Budget will be held on March 26, April 9, and April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers (300 Park Ave.) To see the complete budget schedule, visit

The City’s statement adds that homeowners wondering if their assessment is correct should ask the question, “Would my home sell for the assessed value if I put it on the market?” “If the answer is ‘yes,'” it says, “the assessment is probably accurate. If the answer is ‘no,’ contact the Office of Real Estate Assessment at 703-248-5022 (TTY 711).”

Deadlines for assessment appeals are Friday, Mar. 16, 2012, for an Office of Real Estate Assessment review and Friday, July 6, 2012 for a Board of Equalization review. More information about the assessment review process is available online at

The City’s Real Estate Tax Relief program assists eligible City homeowners by reducing their property tax through exemptions (grants) and deferrals.

Eligibility requirements:

• The owner must be at least 65 years of age, or totally and permanently disabled;

• The property must be the owner’s primary residence;

• The combined income of all household members must not exceed $37,650 for exemptions (grants) and $75,000 for deferrals; and

• Assets must not exceed $540,000.

The deadline to apply is April 16, 2012. For more information and an application, visit or contact the Treasurer’s Office (300 Park Ave., Suite 103 East) at or 703-248-5045 (TTY 711).