74°Clear

Real Estate Assessments to Be Released on Friday

by ARLnow.com January 12, 2011 at 10:52 am 2,661 51 Comments

Arlington County will release its 2011 real estate assessments this Friday at 5:00 p.m. Property owners will be able to search for their new assessments on the county’s tax assessment web page (appropriately, the word “DREAD” is prominently featured in the web address).

Assessments are expected to rise this year as the real estate market improves. The Sun Gazette reports that the average home sale price rose 4.6 percent in 2010.

Property owners who want to challenge their assessments should be able to do so via an online form any time before March 1, although the form does not appear to be online at the moment. More information on real estate assessment appeals is available here.

  • PikeHoo

    I wonder if that 4.6% increase quoted includes foreclosure and short sale transactions. And, if condos/townhouses are included in “home” sales or if it’s only detached housing.

  • Val

    Don’t bother appealing–resistance is futile. Although my purchase price (within the year of the assessment) was 100K LESS than the assessment, they did not budge on the lot value.

  • Burger

    Shocker this comes in essentially a political dead period. I guess it beats the time I received a 20% increase in my assessment 3 days after the election.

    • AllenB

      Of course it’s not a shocker – the assessments are released the same time each year.

  • Wayne Kubicki

    The fact that the average sales price for 2010 is up 4.6% over 2009 doesn’t necessarily mean residential assessments will increase that much, as the sales mix for any given year isn’t necessarily reflective of the County housing stock as a whole.

    Yes, PikeHoo, I believe the figures include THs and condos.

    That said, I expect we’re going to see the assessment tax base go up more than most people think, due in large part to higher assessments on commercial properties, particularly high-rise residential rentals.

    • Arlwhenever

      And the 4.6% has less meaning than one might think also because that Sun Gazzette number is January through December, whereas by law the County tax assessments are based on fiscal year, July through June sales. I’ve often wondered why McCaffrey doesn’t report the July through June sales from his database so we can have a more direct comparison with the change in assessments.

  • Scout

    I am a newbie to homeownership. Is the property tax a certain percentage of the assessment? And is that rate the same as last year, and what is it?

    Thx.

    • G

      Yes, the property tax is a certain percentage of the assessment. This rate is usually released in the spring. The 2010 general tax rate is $0.958/$100 of assessed value. So tax on a $200,000 home would be $1916 ($958 twice/year). Finding out our assessments on Friday tells us little about what we should expect to pay in taxes in 2011 as the county may change the rate in the spring.

      • Burger

        Yes. Any big piece of political information that doesn’t make you look good is released on afternoon Friday so it goes somewhat unnoticed. The Obama administration is infamous for this. A 5:00 PM release means it is likely not very good for everyone i.e. the assessments are going to be higher than what people think they should be. I mean how else are they going to make up a 35 million deficit and still have money to pay off a billion in bonds, fund a trolley car along Columbia Pike and payoff the last county manager.

        A

        • CJR

          +1

        • AllenB

          Correction – ALL administrations are guilty of this, not just the current one.

  • Arlwhenever

    Commissioner Murroy’s song and dance review is topped by the phantasmagoria produced by her minions when they are asked to defend their appraisals. Murroy’s pushing her cutsie show out to Arlington Now last week was calculated to calm the sheeple to accept calmly what is to come. Don’t be fooled. And do resist. It can and in some cases does make a difference.

    • AllenB

      Commissioner Morroy has nothing to do with the real estate assessments coming out this week. That is part of the County’s Department of Management and Finance. Take a look at the County’s website.

    • FedUp

      Duh! Get informed about Arlington government before you comment!

      • Arlwhenever

        Sorry, I assumed it must be her because I actually believed the real estate appraisers last year when they bragged they weren’t subject to political influence because they didn’t report to or were directed by the County Board. But alas, it seems like like most of everything else they had to say, it was a lie.

        • FedUp

          They didn’t tell you the truth. The real estate assessor, Mr. Tommy Rice, reports to the County Manager who reports to the County Board. Or maybe he reports directly to the County Board. No, that cannot be, because his department is part of the Department of Management and Finance. So he probably reports directly to the County Manager. But do you see how the County Board controls both the real estate assessments AND the tax rate? Maybe real estate assessments should be under Ms. Morroy, who reports directly to the voters. At least you would get better service.

          • AllenB

            Tommy Rice reports to the CFO, who reports to the manager.

          • FedUp

            @AllenB: okay, so there you go. The County Board controls the whole shebang. Not good. If they need revenue, they should increase the tax rate. But since assessments are under their purview, they can “play” with the values to come up with the revenue they need. Ugh!

          • AllenB

            1) I never said that the whole thing wasn’t ultimately under the county board. 2) I have drop more faith that the board itself isn’t manipulating assessments. I think I’m just a bit less cynical than you. But I do know from my own assessment that it does seem to be under what my condo is worth so I have no complaints about it.

  • NorthArlingtonHE

    Will they lower the rate now that home prices have increased? The reasoning for raising our RE taxes were they the assessed value went down in the past few years. We’re back where we were, or above now…

    • Dan

      “Will they lower the rate now that home prices have increased?”

      Short answer, no.

      They (the board) want to extract as much money as they can from home owners.

      And they will because they have no fear of being voted out of office.

      • Burger

        Bingo!

        Even in a year someone should be thrown out on their ear. Zimmerman made it.

        But to answer the question 35 million has to come from somwhere. Why not the lemmings that keep these clowns in office.

      • Arlgirl

        You got it! They can raise taxes all they want because they have no fear of being voted out of office. That’s what happens when you vote for one party decade after decade after decade…

        • Justin Russo

          You can always ‘vote with your feet’.

    • Take it down a notch

      I will be stunned if the assessment for my condo is close to where it was a few years ago. “We” are not back where we were.

      • AllenB

        +1

    • Arlingtonthen

      Your house may not be worth that much; but watch how your land goes up in value if you own a detached house. Developers can do wonders with tear-downs and towering new homes that will increase the tax base for the County! More tax dollars to pay for concrete for the 5 feet wide sidewalks that are the new standard for ArlCO!

  • Arlwhenever

    Chris Zimmerman announced his re-election is an affirmation that the populous wants the County to “invest” in Arlington — aka tax and spend. By re-electing Zimmerman the voters ensured that the County will continue, one way or another, to increases taxes and fees signficantly, building on its record over the last decade of more than doubling the same.

    No big deal though. Another five or ten years of this and we’ll be able to travel by streetcar!

    • Lou

      Yep, those trolleys are not going to pay for themselves. Actually, that is a big part of the problem.

  • Scout

    G et all, thanks for your explanations. I for one would not want to see Arlington tax income decrease. A good environs (?) does cost money.

  • Click on my link to see what the CB members pay on their assements

    • Burger

      Thanks for the link. Very interesting that not a single county board member comes from 22207 or 22206 and never need to drive on 66.

      • Bender

        Interesting how rich they are.

    • John Fontain

      Didn’t realize that Mary is the same person who runs a flea market out of the front lawn of her house (selling old junky furniture). Is her property zoned for a commercial flea market?

      • Arlwhenever

        Her husband is the original dumpster diver, knows the trash pickup schedules by heart, drives around neighborhoods collecting discards. He sells a lot to recyclers (like copper wires clipped off of discarded appliances) and markets a lot of the rest at his periodic yard sales.

    • CJR

      Can you repost the link?

      • G

        click his name

      • Dan

        Just click on his/her name…

  • Bender

    “Will they lower the rate now that home prices have increased?”

    Ha! They claimed that if we supported all of this hyper development and growth that it would reduce our property taxes. Instead, they have gone up nearly every year (with the exception, for some, of a couple of years ago, when the bubble burst).

    It is true that, when values were skyrocketing, they decreased the rates slightly, but the decreased rates still resulted in a real increase in taxes since the percentage decrease was less than the percentage increase in assessed values.

    • mehoo

      Your wealth increased too.

      • Dan

        “Your wealth increased too.”

        Only if you could sell it for the assessed value, buy another place and move
        and still come out ahead.
        And then you are left with trying to figure out the value of being uprooted from your home…….

        • AllenB

          Not true. Your wealth isn’t determined by could you buy a similar place and have left over money. Your wealth is simply the value of your assets less your liabilities. If you choose to buy another place or not is your own personal decision, not a measure of your wealth.

          And FWIW, many properties are assessed under what they would sell for.

          • Dan

            Wrong, wrong, wrong…..that would only be true if housing were a discretionary item.

            I don’t know about you but I prefer having a roof over my head.

          • AllenB

            Sorry, but you have the option of renting. Your house is a huge part of your wealth. You may not think so but it is.

  • Bender

    My wealth didn’t increase. When sales of OTHER units tripled in price a few years ago, my wealth did not triple. I would only have been wealthier if I sold too. But remaining here, I was no more wealthier than I was before. I could not afford any nicer car, I was not suddenly able to go on expensive trips or buy high-priced jewelry. In fact, over all these years of up and down markets, even when the market was up, I was poorer because my property tax zoomed up.

    • Dan

      Yup !!!
      The County treats us as though we all flunked third grade arithmetic.

    • R.Griffon

      You’re confusing wealth with liquidity; they are not the same. The rest of the world (including financial markets) views “wealth” as total assets minus total debt obligations. If you want to decide that you don’t feel well off unless you have adequate cashflow then that’s fine, but just realize that the rest of the world uses a different definition. And if your real estate holdings tripled in value then you COULD indeed afford the car/vacations/jewelery by either cashing out completely or taking a portion of equity out of the home in the form of a loan. The fact that you chose (wisely) not to doesn’t make you any less “wealthy.”

      It may come as a shock to you that no billionaire worth his or her salt (or even millionaires, for that matter) keeps their wealth in cash. It’s all in ASSETS, because that’s how you build and maintain WEALTH.

  • Get Real

    Taxes are taxes and you need a revenue base to run the county. What we really need to do is figure out a fair rate for everyone and stop trying to game the system. How many of you have disputed the assessment when it has been too low. Get real, pay your taxes and vote the current admin out of office!

  • Bender

    **Sorry, but you have the option of renting**

    What do you think the effect of high property taxes is? They effectively reduce your “ownership” of property to renting your own property from the landlord-government. If you don’t pay the “rent,” then they will come and evict you, just as surely as any other landlord. With high property taxes, you ultimately don’t own the property, the government does.

    And that is assuming that you do not carry a mortgage (or deed of trust). If you have a mortgage, then the property is effectively owned by the lender (or trustee) with you, again, being on a level that is no greater than that of renter.

    Either way, when neighborhood market sales increase in price, you are not suddenly richer or wealthier. When the sales prices decrease, as they have over the last few years, you are not suddenly poorer. Your standard of living remains exactly the same unless and until you decide to sell.

    • AllenB

      Sorry, but wealth is a calculation, plain and simple. Whether it is liquid wealth or not is another story, but you are wealthier when your house values increase. You just may not have immediate access to it. Lets say your house is worth 800K and your mortgage is $500K and the payment is $3K per month. You could sell the house, pocket the $300K profit and find a place for $3K per month. Voila! You have an extra $300K in your pocket. Not saying you should do that but you COULD do that.

      Wealth doesn’t equal standard of living.

      Anyway, I’m kinda done with this topic. I’m rarely 100% certain of things but this one I am, from a pure finance perspective. House value figures into what you are worth and your wealth – ask any divorce attorney.

      Buh bye.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list