I ran into another recent homebuyer last week that said she wanted to contest her real estate tax amount. She and her husband bought a foreclosure at more than 25% discount from what the appraised value came back at. You would think they would be happy since the house didn't need too much work? No, the county was taxing her on the appraised value of the real estate, not what it sold for. She didn't agree with that. She wants to only pay taxes on the amount they paid for the house. I told her that assessments flucuate, but the county can do their own appraisal of value, and use that amount for tax purposes. Most people that I know that contested their real estate assesments either didn't get far, or got just a small reduction.
Post from land records manager: " ...notice to our land records customers related to the determination of actual value of property when a deed is presented for recordation and the consideration of the deed is lower that the assessed value of the property being conveyed. The Code of Virginia places a statuatory requirement on the clerk to base the recordation taxes for a deed upon the greater of the consideration or the actual value ( see VA. CODE $58.1-801.)" " An opinion of the Virginia Attorney General....states that the clerk must base the recordation tax on the actual value when the consideration is clearly less than the value of the property. One of the tools available to the clerk to determine the actual value is the real estate assessment information available from the assessor's office." ... That is not the ony tool that the clerk may use to determine actual value... the clerk may use other evidence, such as a real estate appraisal completed and certified by an appraiser."
So, even if you paid $150,000.00 for a property that appraised for $200,000.00, you will most likely be taxed on the $200,000.00 amount. If you want to contest your assessment, you will need to have another appraisal done showing you house appraised for $150,000.00, and take that evidence to Clerk. They will review it, and maybe you can get some adjustment made. If so, the clerk will make a notation on the deed indicating that the appraisal was used for purposes of ascertaining the actual value.
But, how do you explain an appraised value of $200,000.00 in July 2011, and a appraised value of $150,000.00 in Sept 2011? " "LUCY, somebody gots some splaining to do."