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Why didn't my property value decrease in this sluggish real estate market?
How are real estate taxes calculated?
Where can I get a copy of a deed or a plat for a parcel of land?
What is an appraisal neighborhood?
Will my real estate taxes go up if my assessment increases?
Are there other appeal options?
What if I have questions about my assessment, or believe it is incorrect?
Why has my real estate assessment changed?
What if I want to appeal my assessment?
How is personal property assessed?
When must I file a tax return on the personal property I own?
Where may I obtain the necessary forms for reporting personal property for assessment? and where do I file my return?
When is my personal property tax payment due?
How is the tax rate established?
What personal property is prorated?
What does proration of personal property tax mean? What is my taxable date?
Who has to pay the prorated personal property tax?
If I move out of Prince George or sell my vehicle or trailer during the tax year, am I eligible for a refund of the personal property tax I paid?
If I am a new resident of Virginia, living in Prince George, do I pay personal property tax to Prince George this year?
If I am a new resident from a locality in Virginia that does not prorate, do I pay personal property tax in Prince George this year?
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Q: Why didn't my property value decrease in this sluggish real estate market?
A:

The Assessor's Office does not set value.  The citizens of the county determine value by creating the real estate market.  Meticulous study and effort was made by the Assessor's Office to deliver an accurate and equitable assessment.  Staff thoroughly reviewed every sale, both valid and invalid, from across the county.  Current Realtor® listings were analyzed as well as foreclosures, short sales, and forced sales.  Valuation models were developed from this data to calculate assessed values in an equitable manner.

While the news of the national real estate market is disturbing for all of us, Prince George County has not had the same dramatic negative impacts seen in other localities.  The market value of real estate changes every year, regardless of whether a particular property is sold during the year.  Assessed values can increase if specific improvements have been made to your property.  If homes or land in your neighborhood are selling for more or less now than they did last year, then the assessed value may increase, decrease, or remain the same.  Assessed values are compared to sales prices to determine the Assessment Ratio.

The Assessment Ratio measures the accuracy of the overall assessment.  Prince George County's 2010 assessment ratio, which is audited by the Virginia Department of Taxation, was approximately 98%.  That means that the typical home sold in 2011 had an assessed value approximately 2% lower than the sales price.  Even though sales prices may have declined in your neighborhood, the assessed values may not change because the assessment ratio may be less than state mandated target of 100% of fair market value.  Inversely, when the Assessment Ratio rises above 100%, assessed values are decreased in that specific neighborhood.

Q: How are real estate taxes calculated?
A:

Real Estate tax rates are expressed in dollars per one hundred dollars of assessed value.  The 2012 tax rate was $0.80 per $100 of assessed value.  Based on the 2012 tax rate,  taxes were calculated as follows:

Tax Rate x Assessment = Tax
Tax Rate  x Assessment  = Tax

$0.80/$100

$200,000

$1,600

0.0080

$200,000

$1,600

Q: Where can I get a copy of a deed or a plat for a parcel of land?
A:
Land records are kept in the record room in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office. You will need to have reference information on the property (i.e., property owner's name, tax parcel number of property or address of property, etc.) This information can be obtained by visiting the Prince George Assessor's Office or from the Online Real Estate Assessments site which can be accessed by clicking here.
Q: What is an appraisal neighborhood?
A:
The county is divided into 8 appraisal areas that are geographically similar.  These areas correspond with the County's voting districts.  District 1 includes areas 5, 6, 7, and 8; District 2 includes areas 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Each appraisal area is then divided into appraisal neighborhoods.  Appraisal neighborhoods can include subdivisions or geographic areas with similar influences.  Your appraisal neighborhood can be found on your real estate assessment notice.
Q: Will my real estate taxes go up if my assessment increases?
A:
The Board of Supervisors determines the real estate tax for each tax year.  Depending on the new tax rate, the amount of tax owed on your property may increase, remain the same or decrease.
Q: Are there other appeal options?
A:
Yes.  If you are dissatisfied with the Assessor's Office's decision, you may file an appeal to the Board of Equalization.  Information on how to make that appeal will be sent to you with your written notification.  The next step above the Board of Equalization is an appeal to the Circuit Court, if you should so choose.
Q: What if I have questions about my assessment, or believe it is incorrect?
A:

Please contact the Real Estate Assessor's Office by calling (804) 722-8629, e-mailing us at assessor@princegeorgeva.org or visiting the office -- Suite 204 in the County Administration Building (6602 Courts Drive).  The office is open between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

The Assessor's Office will try to answer any questions you have over the phone and send you a copy of your property record for your review.  A copy of your property record can also be found by visiting the Online Assessments page of the Web site, which can also be used to review surrounding properties.

If you find any discrepancies or have additional questions, please contact us.  By bringing to our attention any errors that the office has in its records regarding your property, the assessment process will be more accurate and equitable.

Q: Why has my real estate assessment changed?
A:
The County Assessor's Office has completed an extensive review of property sales during the last year and compared those sales to the properties' current assessed values.  State law (VA Code 58.1-3201) requires jurisdictions to assess property at 100 percent of its fair market value.  Our goal is to have accurate and equitable assessments that reflect true fair market value.  Fair Market Value has been defined by the courts of Virginia to mean the price which it will bring when it is offered for sale by one who desires but is not obligated to sell it, and bought by one who is under no necessity of having it.
Q: What if I want to appeal my assessment?
A:

If you review your property record and feel that the assessment is inaccurate, exceeds market value, or is not equitable with similar properties, then fill out an appeal form.  Appeal forms can be picked up in the Assessor's office, mailed or faxed to you, or downloaded from the County's Web site.  If the information presented indicates that a review is warranted, the property may be inspected and you will be notified in writing when the decision is made.  Reviews may result in an increased assessment, a decreased assessment or no change.

Please check with the Assessor's Office to find out the deadline for appeals to be filed at (804) 722-8629.

Q: How is personal property assessed?
A:
The Commissioner of the Revenue of Prince George County is required to determine the assessed value of automobiles and all trucks by the means of a recognized pricing guide. The pricing guide used by Prince George is the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Official Used Car Guide and the Official Older Used Car Guide. The value taken from these books is the average loan value as determined by this guide. If the vehicle is not listed in this guide, then a percentage of the original cost is used.
Q: When must I file a tax return on the personal property I own?
A:

A personal property tax return for motor vehicles and trailers located in Prince George on January 1 of the tax year or for those purchased or entering the County after January 1 of the tax year shall be filed with the Commissioner of the Revenue on or before February 5th of each year.

If there is no change in property, no form has to be filed, and you will be taxed on your property previously filed.

Taxpayers purchasing vehicles or locating to Prince George after January 1st of each year shall file a return within 30 days.

Q: Where may I obtain the necessary forms for reporting personal property for assessment? and where do I file my return?
A:
You should call or visit the Prince George Commissioner of the Revenue's Office to obtain personal property forms and to receive filing information. They may also be obtained online on the Commissioner of the Revenue's Individual Personal Property Tax page.

The forms should be sent to:

Commissioner of the Revenue
P.O. Box 155
Prince George, VA 23875

or brought in person to the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office in the:

Administration Building, 1st floor
6602 Courts Drive
Prince George, VA 23875

Q: When is my personal property tax payment due?
A:
Taxes on all personal property in Prince George County are billed once a year and are due June 5th.
Q: How is the tax rate established?
A:
The Prince George County Board of Supervisors establishes a personal property tax rate by April of each year after public hearings.
Q: What personal property is prorated?
A:

The proration of personal property tax applies to motor vehicles, trailers and semitrailers only. This includes automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, motorized recreational vehicles (RV), trailers (including boat trailers) and semitrailers.

Mobile homes, boats and boat motors, business equipment and machinery and tools will not be prorated.

Q: What does proration of personal property tax mean? What is my taxable date?
A:

The personal property tax will be prorated based upon the number of months that the vehicle or trailer is owned by the taxpayer and legally located in Prince George County. Periods of ownership beginning the 1st through the 15th of a month are counted as a whole month when calculating the prorated tax. Periods of ownership beginning the 16th through the end of a month are not counted when calculating the prorated tax because the taxable date is the first day of the following month.

For example: If you move into Prince George or purchase a vehicle or trailer on January 15th of the tax year, your taxable date is January 1st, and you must pay the personal property tax for the month of January and all following months that you own the vehicle or trailer. If you move to Prince George or purchase a new vehicle on January 16th of the tax year, your taxable date is February 1st, and you must pay the personal property tax for February and all following months that you own the vehicle or trailer.

If you move out of Prince George or dispose of a vehicle or trailer on or before January 15th of the tax year, you will not pay any personal property tax on that vehicle or trailer for that year. If you move out of Prince George or dispose of a vehicle on January 16th, you must pay personal property tax on that vehicle or trailer for the one month of January.

Q: Who has to pay the prorated personal property tax?
A:
Anyone owning a motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer normally located in Prince George County must pay the prorated personal property tax.
Q: If I move out of Prince George or sell my vehicle or trailer during the tax year, am I eligible for a refund of the personal property tax I paid?
A:

Yes, in most situations. If you move out of Prince George or sell a motor vehicle or trailer, your personal property tax for that vehicle or trailer will be prorated and you will receive a credit or refund of taxes paid for that portion of the remaining year provided all other taxes and debts due the County are paid. You will be required to show the Prince George Commissioner of the Revenue proof that the vehicle is no longer legally located in Prince George.

Credits or refunds are NOT permitted to taxpayers who move from Prince George to a non-prorating locality in Virginia.

A temporary absence from the County will not make the vehicle owner eligible for a refund.

Q: If I am a new resident of Virginia, living in Prince George, do I pay personal property tax to Prince George this year?
A:
Yes. If you move to Prince George during the year from out of state, you must pay personal property tax for the months you are in Prince George.
Q: If I am a new resident from a locality in Virginia that does not prorate, do I pay personal property tax in Prince George this year?
A:
No. You will not pay personal property tax in Prince George for those vehicles or trailers which you owned and on which you paid tax in the non-prorating locality. A copy of the paid tax receipt may be required as proof.
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