The Ad Valorem Process and How Virginia Property Taxes are Assessed
We’re back with our Real Estate “Word of the Week“! This week we are going to explain what the Ad Valorem Process is.
Ad Valorem Process: The process by which many state and local governments assess real estate taxes for operating revenue. The term “Ad valorem” is Latin for “according to value.” Ad valorem taxes are based on the unique assessed value of the subject property.
There are three types of property: Land, Improvements to Land (immovable man made things), and Personal (movable man made things). Real estate, real property or realty are all terms for the combination of land and improvements. The taxing authority requires and/or performs an appraisal of the monetary value of the property, and tax is assessed in proportion to that value. Forms of property tax used vary between countries and jurisdictions.
Property Tax Assessment in Virginia
In Virginia, property taxes are calculated by multiplying a home’s assessed value by its total property tax rate. State law requires cities to reassess every two years and counties every four years. Since properties aren’t reassessed yearly, the assessed values typically diverge from market values over time. The state of Virginia conducts an annual sales ratio study to determine the ratio of assessed values to market values. While ratios are generally close to 100%, in some cases they are not.
This means that it is entirely possible to notice significant changes to assessed values. According to Virginia state law, total taxes across a tax district cannot increase by more than 1% because of a reassessment. However, taxes on an individual property can increase by any amount. Keep that in mind as reassessment approaches!
The Real Value of Your Home
So, what is my home really worth? The purpose of reassessment is to determine the fair market value of a property. This is the price the property would sell for on the open market. However, as we mentioned above, the assessed price can often diverge slightly. Couple that with the often misleading estimates on popular Real Estate websites, and it can make for a very confusing conversation if you’re looking to sell your home.
Our Real Estate Team does extensive research before presenting a pricing strategy to a client. Homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood and surrounding areas (referred to as “comps” or “comparables”), the tax assessment, as well as current market trends all factor into our price conculsion.
Our Expert Realtors offer a FREE, no obligation consultation and Home Analysis. If you’re thinking of placing your home for sale, we would love help you reach your Real Estate goals. Simply contact us below and one of our Agents will be in touch.