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Virginia Law Enhances Taxpayer Rights

by Tom Branham, Washington D.C., May 2013

 

The Virginia General Assembly passed taxpayer-friendly legislation this session that was signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell on March 12, 2013. House Bill 1598 amends the tax code to give property owners more fair treatment in appeals.

 

Specifically, the new law:

 

  • Allows property owners to file income and expense information as a basis for their appeal up to the appeal deadline.

  • Authorizes localities to accept appeal applications electronically.

  • Clarifies that an appeal can't be denied for lack of information on the application as long as documentation of an applicable assessment methodology is submitted along with the address, parcel number and the owner's proposed value.

  • Prohibits a Board of Equalization from increasing the assessment of commercial, industrial and multi-family property under appeal of its own accord. An assessor must first recommend an increase and provide an independent appraisal. Then the Board can act on the assessment increase recommendation.

The provisions of this act become effective for appeals after January 1, 2014.