James City County sends out biennial reassessment notices

The Williamsburg area is composed of three separate jurisdictions that include the city of Williamsburg, James City County and York County .

James City County mailed approximately 17,400 change of assessment notices for the biennial general reassessment on Feb 28. Assessments increased 1.81% due to reassessment and .48% due to new development which combined for a total change of 2.29%. Assessments are used to calculate a County property owner’s real estate tax which is currently .84 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The Real Estate Assessment Division assessed all real property based on the fair market value of the property as of Jan. 1, 2020. The County conducts real property assessments biennially, so the new values will be effective for the next two fiscal tax years, FY2021 (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021) and FY2022 (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022).

The County’s state licensed appraisers analyze current sales and assessment to sales ratios to determine whether a property’s value should be increased, reduced or remain the same. Properties are analyzed by assessment areas, which are based on common land uses, types and ages of buildings, value range and other locational characteristics. A nationally recognized computer valuation system is used to appraise the properties.

Property owners wishing to have their assessment reviewed should call 757-253-6650 during office hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) before March 30, 2020. An appraiser will review the assessment to insure the property information is correct, and confirm that it represents fair market value and is equitable with other similar properties. Most changes, including reductions, are made in this administrative review period. If the issue is not resolved by phone, the property owner may request that an appraiser visit the property. Property owners will be notified by mail if the assessment is revised. Additional information regarding the assessment and review process can be found online.

Property owners who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review may file an appeal in writing with the Board of Equalization. The deadline for filing Board of Equalization appeals is April 30, 2020.

For information on the County’s real estate tax relief program for elderly and/or disabled citizens, please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue at 757-253-6695 or visit the website. The program provides tax relief to homeowners who are 65 or older and those who are permanently and totally disabled if they meet certain income and financial worth qualifications.

The Commissioner of the Revenue also administers the land use assessment program which provides for tax deferrals for qualifying forested and agricultural land. Reduced real estate taxation is also available to properties with conservation and preservation easements.

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