Both the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County have reassessed properties in their respective areas, which means your property value may have changed. When your notice of reassessment comes, if you think the City or the County are way off in their reassessment, know that there are ways to appeal your reassessment. Depending on whether you live in the City or the County, follow the steps below for appealing your reassessment.
City of Harrisonburg
- Grounds for an Appeal: First, you’ll need to provide the assessor with important information, so as much information about your property that you can gather ahead of time, the faster the process will go. Second, you must know that appealing your assessment is not considered a complaint of a higher tax bill. Appealing simply means that you think the property value assigned to your property is incorrect.
- Procedures and Deadlines: When you receive your notice of reassessment, read the instructions carefully regarding where to start for an appeal, and for the deadlines that must be met for your appeal.
- Informal Review: Usually the first step in the appeals process is meeting informally with someone in the assessor’s office. This meeting will determine whether or not you have grounds for formally appealing your reassessment.
- Preparation: Find your property ID number on your reassessment notice, and use this to obtain a copy of your property record from the assessor’s office. Double check all of the information on your property record, and if something is incorrect, gather the information for the appeal. For instance, if the square footage seems wrong, measure it yourself (and perhaps draw a floor plan with measurements to prove your point), or if the style of your home is incorrect, take a photo of your home to prove the correct style. It would also be helpful to gather information about comparable properties in your neighborhood and their assessed values. You can have a real estate broker or the assessor’s office gather information on recent sales for you.
- Meeting: This is where you will present all of the information you have gathered for the assessor, and you will look it over together thoroughly.
- Formal Appeal: If you have not reached a conclusion on your appeal with the informal review and meeting, you can move on to higher authorities, which is usually done at the local level. According to the City of Harrisonburg, “Your appeal is more likely to be successful if you present evidence that comparable properties in the same neighborhood are assessed for less than yours.”
- Additional Levels of Appeal: If you still are in disagreement with the assessed value of your property, it is recommended that you seek legal help to bring the issue further and appeal to an even higher authority.
Need more detailed information? Visit the City of Harrisonburg’s official site for understanding assessments.
- A board, called the Board of Equalization of Real Estate Assessments, for Rockingham County, provides citizens with hearings (on an as needed basis) for reassessment appeals.
- To schedule an appointment, or speak with an assessment official regarding your appeal, contact the Deputy County Administrator. At the time of this publishing, that person is Stephen King, and his email address is email@example.com.
- As soon as you receive your notice of reassessment, act quickly! Appeals are timely requests that should be dealt with as soon as possible.
- As with the City of Harrisonburg, it may also be necessary to gather as much information as possible about your property, what you find incorrect on your reassessment, and comparable properties in your neighborhood, so that when you stand in front of the Board, you’ll have a strong case for appeal. To get you started, visit the Rockingham County GIS system for information on your property, and the properties surrounding yours.