By Dan Storck
I have heard from many of you again this year that your real estate assessments have increased. I know we are all proud to live in Fairfax County and enjoy the many services the County and the area offer. This makes our area a very desirable, vibrant and thriving place to live and this, in turn, is driving up home prices.
As you may know, real estate assessments are set by the market based on sales of similar homes in your area and not by the Board of Supervisors. Per the Constitution of Virginia, Fairfax County’s real estate assessments must reflect fair market value. For most residential property, that value is determined by comparing a property to sales of comparable properties. That value is reflected in the assessment you recently received, with your estimated 2023 real estate tax levy, which is just that, an estimate, based on current tax rate of $1.11 per $100 of assessed value.
I am strongly supporting a reduction in the real estate tax rate to better balance the increase in home valuations homeowners are seeing in their assessments. We have just begun the budget consideration process, and I look forward to listening to the community, while learning more about what the County Executive has proposed. The Board will be holding public budget hearings on April 11, 12 and 13, and I encourage you to share your comments, which you can do by phone, video, in-person and in writing. More information is in the link below.
It is unfortunate that in Virginia, real estate and personal property taxes are one of the few sources of revenue available to pay for the services Fairfax County residents need and expect, especially for our acclaimed schools, best in U.S. police/fire, economy, parks, etc. The state only funds approximately 23% of our school’s budget, which constitutes more than half of our County budget. In most other counties in the state, the state funds schools at 50% or higher.
Please join me and School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders, with co-hosts the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations and South County Federation, for the County and FCPS staff in-person and virtual budget presentation and Q&A on March 15 at 7 p.m.
After hearing from so many of you about your assessments, I am also hosting a virtual community meeting on March 16 at 7 p.m. with the Department of Tax Administration to discuss how assessments are done, as well as your options for appeal and tax relief. This will be a general discussion. Specific questions regarding your property should be directed to Department of Tax Administration staff who are standing by to talk with you, explain your individual assessment and the appeal process.
More information about all of the above can be viewed on our budget and assessment meeting pages at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mountvernon/. Additional budget and meeting information will be sent out through our regular newsletters. Sign up here: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mountvernon/.