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F.C.’s Shields: Assessments Mailed Tomorrow, 4.85% Growth Tops Region

AT MONDAY'S  meeting , members of the Falls Church City Council posed with Boy Scout Troop 1537 prior to getting an update on new real estate assessments. (Photo: News-Press)
AT MONDAY’S meeting , members of the Falls Church City Council posed with Boy Scout Troop 1537 prior to getting an update on new real estate assessments. (Photo: News-Press)

Real estate assessments being mailed to property owners in the City of Falls Church tomorrow will show an overall 4.85% increase due mostly to the new mixed-use construction now underway, and the increase is the highest in the region, F.C. City Manager Wyatt Shields reported to the City Council Monday night.

The growth is “dramatic and outpaces our peers in Northern Virginia,” Shields said.

Overall, City single family homes will increase in assessed value by an average of 3.4%, Shields said, while town houses will grow in value by 5.75% and condos by 5.73%. Overall commercial properties will rise by 2.37%, highest growth in the region, and overall growth in projected revenues for the coming fiscal year will be 3.7%.

City of Falls Church Press Release:

The total taxable assessed value for all properties in the city, as of January 1, 2015, is $3,721,286,900 ($3.7 billion), a 4.85 percent increase from January 1, 2014. New construction (valued at $87.8 million) accounts for just over half of the increase in assessed value in the City, and market appreciation accounts for the other half. City assessments were mailed to property owners in late February. Updated assessment information will be posted on the City website by Tuesday, February 24.

Commercial new construction accounted for $65 million of growth; residential new construction account for $22.8 million of growth.

Overall commercial and multi-family property values increased 2.37 percent since January 2014; overall residential real estate values increased 4.11 percent over the last year.

Single family home values had varying changes but overall increased by 3.42 percent; townhomes increased overall by 5.75 percent; and residential condominiums had varying changes but overall increased 5.73 percent.

As set forth in the Virginia Constitution, real estate is assessed at 100 percent of fair market value. 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.

Real Estate Taxes and Public Hearings
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 27, 2015, when the Falls Church City Council adopts the Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget and Capital Improvements Program and sets the tax rate (more at www.fallschurchva.gov/Budget). Public hearings on the budget will be held on March 23, April 13, and April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers (300 Park Ave.). Town Hall meetings will be held on March 14 and April 4 at 10 a.m. in the Community Center. To see the complete budget schedule, visit www.fallschurchva.gov/Budget.

Assessment Appeals
Individual assessments are mailed in late February. After evaluating the assessment, 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,” 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, April 3, 2015, for an Office of Real Estate Assessment review and Friday, June 5, 2014 for a Board of Equalization review. More information about the assessment review process is available at www.fallschurchva.gov/AssessmentProcess.