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Economy, Local

Augusta County real estate assessments are in the mail; how to appeal or apply for tax relief

Crystal Graham
house value increase graphic
(© Kiattisak – stock.adobe.com)

Real estate assessments were mailed Feb. 20 to Augusta County real estate owners. The reassessment, the first since 2019, reflects the current fair market value of each property, excluding any reduction for participation in a reduced tax program.

Home prices nationally were up 45 percent since March 2020. In 2023, Staunton and Waynesboro reported their average increases in valuation at 25.49 percent and 29.5 percent respectively. The cities are on a two-year reassessment cycle.

Augusta County is on a five-year reassessment cycle so the increase in home values reflect market changes over the last five years.

The tax rate for the 2024 reassessed value will be set by the Board of Supervisors. A public hearing on the tax rate will be scheduled for April.

If a reassessment notice is not received by March 6, property owners may also access the values online.

Questions about the reassessment process may be directed to the reassessment office at [email protected] or (540)-245-5630.

Participation in the budget process

Reassessment appeals process

The reassessment notice shows the value of your property.

There are several ways to appeal the reassessment:

  • Represent the current fair market value of your property, or
  • Use accurate property data and you believe there are errors, such as the acreage of the assessment, or
  • Show consistency with similar properties in your area.

Property owners who wish to view and make copies of assessment records that were used in arriving at the assessed values of the land and any improvements may contact the reassessment office.

Ways to appeal

  • You may appeal your assessment informally in person or by mail, email, Zoom or phone. Appeals to the reassessment office are due no later than March 18.
  • In-person hearings will be conducted at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona beginning in March. Schedule an in-person hearing by calling (540)-245-5630.
  • Written appeals should be submitted by mail to the Augusta County Reassessment Office, P.O. Box 1789, Waynesboro, VA 22980; or by email to [email protected]
  • You may complete this online form to start the appeal process with the reassessment office.

You are not required to present your appeal to the reassessment office in order to formally appeal to the Board of Equalization or to the Circuit Court. For unresolved appeals by the reassessment office, Augusta County will convene the BOE to review cases starting in June. Cases will be reviewed by the BOE on dates to-be-determined and advertised in the paper. Owners with fewer than four residential units will receive a 45-day notice prior to their hearing date, per Virginia Code, though these owners can choose to waive the 45-day notice in order to schedule the hearing before that date. After reviewing the in-person or written appeal, the BOE will determine whether to increase, decrease or affirm the assessment. At this point in the appeal process, the BOE presumes that the reassessed value is correct, so the taxpayer or agent must present clear evidence that the assessment of the property is not uniform with the assessments of other similar properties or that the property is assessed in excess of its fair market value.

Comparable sales data, property information, and details on incorrect property statistics should be presented for an appeal to the BOE.

Appeals to the Circuit Court are a judicial procedure and filings are made to the clerk of the Circuit Court. The owner/agent may appeal to the Circuit Court without first appealing to the assessor or the BOE.

Options for tax relief

Residents are encouraged to learn about programs to reduce tax liability.

Questions about these tax relief programs can be answered by the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office at [email protected] or (540) 245-5647.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.