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As 2019 comes to an end, property owners in the greater Richmond area, including Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield Counties, should be aware of certain approaching deadlines relevant to challenging tax assessments in these localities. While landowners who wish to challenge an assessment may do so by pursuing administrative remedies either before each county’s Assessor or Board of Equalization, there are specific deadlines which require filing these particular challenges earlier in the tax year for each locality.

Statutory appeals, however, which may be filed in each locality’s circuit court, are not subject to these same deadlines. For those landowners wishing to file a statutory appeal in the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which the subject property is located, Va. Code § 58.1-3984 permits any party aggrieved by a decision of the taxing authority to file an appeal challenging the assessment for the tax year in question, as well as assessments for up to three prior tax years.

A word of caution is necessary, however, for residents of counties with county manager forms of government such as Henrico County. In these localities, Va. Code § 15.2-717 requires an aggrieved taxpayer to file a written notice of disagreement with the taxing authority during the applicable tax year in order to take advantage of the provisions set forth in Va. Code § 58.1-3984 enabling challenges to tax years other than the current tax year in which the appeal is filed. For those taxpayers in Henrico County considering filing a statutory appeal in the coming year for one or more tax years, the notice of disagreement must be filed with the Henrico County Assessor no later than December 31. As noted in a previous alert, the City of Richmond has a similar year-end notice of disagreement requirement.

Conversely, counties such as Chesterfield and Hanover are not subject to the requirements of Va. Code § 15.2-717, nor does any other applicable law contain similar notification requirements with regard to pursuing statutory appeals in court. Residents of these localities need not file any such notices of disagreement by year end prior to pursuing a statutory appeal under Va. Code § 58.1-3984.

If you require assistance preparing an appeal or a written notice of disagreement, or if you otherwise have questions about the conduct of tax assessment challenges or are considering filing an appeal in court, please contact us.

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Heather A. Scott

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