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The Code of Virginia mandates that all real property be assessed for taxation purposes at 100% of market value and be fair and equitable. Localities the size of Rockingham County are required by the Code of Virginia to conduct a reassessment a minimum of every four years. A reassessment is a systematic review of all property in the county to determine a fair market value. For Rockingham County the process includes exterior inspections of real property by staff assessors, as well as leaving questionnaires for property owners requesting information as needed about the interior of the buildings and the condition of the property. Sales information for real property sold in Rockingham County is reviewed and a sales ratio analysis is performed by staff assessors to determine fair market value.
During a reassessment, all property values are examined and adjustments are made on individual properties where necessary based upon the above process. This is done to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of real estate taxes. Once this process is complete, reassessment notices are mailed to property owners reporting the new assessed values individually for both land and buildings. Should the property owner(s) believe their assessment is incorrect, they may request an informal appeal with staff assessors. The request must be made during the window of time noted on the reassessment notice.
If, after the informal appeal, the owner still disagrees with the assessed value, the owner may then request a formal appeal to the Board of Equalization which is an independent group of citizens appointed by the Circuit Court of Rockingham County. During the appeal process the Board of Equalization may reduce the assessed value, increase the assessed value or affirm the assessed value established during the reassessment process. If the owner is still in disagreement with the assessed value after the appeal to the Board of Equalization, the next level of appeals is directly to the Circuit Court of Rockingham County.
It is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to determine the budgetary needs of the County and the tax rate necessary to effectively meet those needs. If deemed necessary, the Board may propose a tax rate that generates more than 101% of the previous year’s tax revenue by advertising and conducting a public hearing separate from the annual budget meeting.
Manufactured homes are taxed as personal property unless they have been converted over to real estate through a formal application process by the Clerk of the Court. Prior to conversion, anyone who owns their own land and places a manufactured home on it will receive a real estate bill for the assessed value of the land and any improvements i.e. porches, decks, paved driveways, fences, etc. The land and improvements are taxed as real estate, and the manufactured home is billed separately as personal property.
An appraisal is a detailed single property valuation, and may be obtained any time throughout the year. Appraisals can have a variety of purposes, e.g. mortgage loan, sale, home equity loan, and estate valuations. The County does not do individual appraisals of this type.
An assessment is a mass appraisal of all property within a locality as of January 1 of the reassessment year for tax purposes. Assessments are based on large numbers of sales that are analyzed to determine values for large groups of similar properties.