Virginia Property Tax: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Calculating

CEO Khai Intela
Homeowners in Virginia enjoy property tax rates that are below the national average. With an average effective property tax rate of just 0.80%, homeowners in the state pay less compared to the national average of...

Virginia Property Tax Calculator

Homeowners in Virginia enjoy property tax rates that are below the national average. With an average effective property tax rate of just 0.80%, homeowners in the state pay less compared to the national average of 1.07%. However, high home values in Virginia mean that annual property tax bills can still be significant, especially in areas like Alexandria City and Fairfax County where median home values exceed $500,000 and median annual property taxes surpass $5,000.

How Virginia's Property Taxes Work

Property taxes in Virginia are calculated by multiplying a home's assessed value by its total property tax rate. Assessed values are determined by local assessors on a regular cycle, ranging from two to six years. Reassessment is conducted to determine the fair market value of a property. It is crucial for homeowners to review their assessment notice to ensure accuracy. In case of discrepancies, homeowners can appeal to their local board of assessment or file an official appeal with the Board of Equalization and Assessment Review.

Since properties are not reassessed every year, assessed values can diverge from market values over time. To maintain fairness, the state of Virginia conducts an annual sales ratio study to determine the ratio of assessed values to market values. While ratios are generally close to 100%, there are cases where variations occur. Therefore, when properties are reassessed, assessed values can change significantly. By state law, total taxes across a tax district cannot increase by more than 1% due to reassessment, but taxes on individual properties can increase by any amount.

Virginia Property Tax Rates

Tax rates in Virginia are calculated by local governments, including counties, cities, and special districts. These rates are calculated per $100 of assessed value. The table below provides an overview of the average effective tax rate, median home value, and median annual property tax for each county and independent city in Virginia:

County/City Average Effective Tax Rate Median Home Value Median Annual Property Tax
Fairfax County 0.80% $576,700 $6,463
Virginia Beach 0.93% - $2,676
Prince William County 1.14% - -
Loudoun County - - $5,618
Chesterfield County 0.95% - -
Henrico County - $253,900 $2,105
Norfolk 1.17% - -
Chesapeake 0.97% - -
Arlington County - $731,700 $6,927
Richmond 1.12% - -

*Note: The table shows available information for selected counties and cities in Virginia.

Conclusion

Understanding Virginia's property tax system is crucial for homeowners and potential buyers in the state. While Virginia offers lower-than-average property tax rates, the high home values can still lead to substantial tax bills. It is advisable to consult with a financial advisor who can provide guidance on how homeownership fits into your overall financial goals. SmartAsset's free tool can match you with up to three vetted financial advisors serving your area.

Whether you're planning to move, refinance your mortgage, or simply want to stay informed about Virginia's property taxes, this guide provides valuable insights and information to help you make informed decisions.

1