BOTETOURT – Botetourt County’s first reassessment in six years has come to an end with essentially no overall change in total real estate values, a Wednesday morning news release from the county says.
According to Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group Ltd., residential assessments have decreased one percent, agricultural assessments have decreased two percent, and commercial assessments have increased seven percent.
These figures represent overall changes for the county as a whole, and individual assessments will vary.
“Our firm studied Botetourt County’s real estate market between 2014 and 2015, analyzing sales through November 2015,” said Gary Eanes, Vice President of Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group, Ltd. “These sales were verified and applied as comparable for our reassessments throughout the County in order to obtain the new current market values reflected in the 2016 Reassessment Notices.”
Wampler-Eanes anticipates mailing notices of the reassessment to property owners on January 8.
Property owners who believe their reassessments are incorrect or unjustified can appeal them by scheduling a hearing with Wampler-Eanes staff. Hearings will be held from January 26- February 5 at the Greenfield Education and Training Center.
Hearing dates, times, and instructions are included in the reassessment notices sent to owners and will be posted on the county’s website. Written appeals may be faxed to (540) 992-5238 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It has been a pleasure to work for a fourth time in our hometown, and we would welcome anyone interested to our upcoming Reassessment Hearings,” said Eanes in the news release.
In addition to an opportunity for appeal before Wampler-Eanes, property owners will also have an opportunity to challenge reassessments before the county’s Board of Equalization.
Consisting of five county residents appointed by the Circuit Court, the Board of Equalization will hear appeals once Wampler-Eanes has completed its appeals process and notified property owners of any adjustments to their reassessments. The Board of Equalization is anticipated to meet the week of February 15 to approve its appeal schedule. The board will publish its schedule in the media and on the county’s website.
Any property owners not satisfied with their reassessment following appeals to Wampler-Eanes and to the Board of Equalization may, thirdly, take their case to the Botetourt County Circuit Court.
Reassessment books prepared by Wampler-Eanes and containing reassessment information for all parcels in Botetourt County are available for public inspection at the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in Fincastle and at the county’s Blue Ridge and Buchanan library branches.
Upon completion, the reassessment will be reviewed by the Virginia Department of Taxation to ensure it was conducted in compliance with state law. Failure to comply could result in the withholding of state revenue from the county.