Property Tax Assessment Bill Passes House

-- Measure Protects Taxpayer in Real Property Tax Appeals – Central Virginia - A measure to change the burden of proof from the taxpayer to the assessor when a taxpayer appeals their real property assessment to a board of equalization or to a circuit court passed the House by a vote of 86-13. 

Upon implementation of this measure, the assessor would have the burden of proving that the property in question is valued at its fair market value or that the assessment is uniform in its application and is otherwise valid or legal.

Under current law, a property owner may appeal to a Board of Equalization or a circuit court seeking relief from an erroneous real property assessment.  In all such cases, the taxpayer has the burden of proving that the property in question is valued at more than its fair market value.

"I supported this measure because it will give residents greater protection from imperfect assessments in a very difficult time for valuing real property," stressed Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover).  "During these challenging economic times, when average working Virginians are struggling to make ends meet, there are those who want to raise taxes.  Working Virginians, young families and seniors on fixed incomes are especially hurting.  I cannot support government reaching further into the taxpayers' pockets."

While New Kent County residents have recently seen a 6.6 percent increase in their real estate property tax assessment, surrounding localities have seen a decline of up to 8 percent.  County residents that choose to avail themselves of an appeal may benefit from this new policy. 

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.