- What is Reassessment?
Franklin County is required by the Code of Virginia to reassess properties at 100% of market value at least every four years. A reassessment results in a new value being established for your property. The assessed value along with the county’s real estate tax rate is used to calculate your real estate tax bill. There are several tax relief programs available that may reduce your tax payments if you qualify.
Virginia law requires localities to update (or reassess) real estate property values within their boundaries regularly. The purpose is to ensure real estate values used for tax purposes reflect market values as they change over time. Standard assessment cycles for a locality the size of Franklin County is every four years unless the Board of Supervisors votes to change it. This is a statutory law. It is also law that the assessments reflect market value and that they are not just "made up" numbers.
The reassessment process is as follows:
- The first step is a comprehensive sales study
- Each property is visited by a field inspector who verifies data and collects additional data. The field review is done with the homeowner if they are at home.
- The county is divided into smaller areas called neighborhoods for market comparison.
- Throughout the process, neighborhood sales, land values, yearly appreciation trends, and other data are analyzed.
- Data collection is entered into the mass appraisal system and accuracy is validated.
- GIS is utilized by appraisers and field technicians to view property lines, topography, open land vs. woodland, waterfront, etc.
- The goal of mass appraisal is to produce accurate appraisals and equitable assessments.
- The primary tool to measure the outcomes of mass appraisal is the sales ratio study.
- A sales ratio study compares assessed values to market values as represented by open market sales.
- When the reassessment is complete, property owners are notified and hearings with the appraisers will be held if requested.
- Property owners who continue to disagree with the reassessment results may appeal to a Board of Equalization appointed by the Circuit Court from recommendation made by the county.
The county's last assessment was in 2020. The county contracts Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group to perform a reassessment of property in the county. It's important to note four things:
- Reassessment notices are NOT tax bills. The notices give the new assessed value for your home/property.
- Real estate taxes have NOT increased. The current tax rate of .61 cents per $100 of assessed value. No taxation changes will take place until the County budget process is completed.
- Franklin County, nor the Board of Supervisors determine assessment values. This is done by a third party (Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group).
- Over the next few months, the Board of Supervisors will be analyzing current and future financial information, reviewing the County budget, and how the reassessment impacts the County finances compared to the tax rate.
Tax Relief Applications
Franklin County provides a real estate tax relief program for the elderly and the disabled homeowners based on income and net worth. Those veterans with 100% Service-Connected Disability qualify for exemption as designated by state statute.
Land Use Program
Visit the Land Use Program page for additional information. For an application, please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office.
- Who conducts reassessment in Franklin County?
Franklin County hired Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group, Ltd. to complete the 2024 general reassessment. Wampler-Eanes is a professional appraisal firm approved by the Virginia Department of Taxation. The company assesses properties at market value. They also equalize assessments, to make sure no one property owner or class of property bears an unfair share of the real estate tax burden. Learn more about them on the Wampler-Eanes website.
- When was reassessment conducted?
Conducting a general reassessment of all properties in Franklin County takes about 18 months. According to Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group, Ltd., they visited most properties in Franklin County between September 2022 and December 2023.
- How is reassessment conducted?
Over the past 18 months, Wampler-Eane staff members visited all real estate parcels in Franklin County to verify existing information about each property, confirm any changes made to each property, and take photographs/collect additional information if needed. They also gathered housing market data from different areas of Franklin County to determine market value for each community.
- What is market value?
Market value is the most probable price that a willing and knowledgeable buyer and seller will agree to, assuming the transaction is a fair and normal sale with no undue pressure upon either party (such as a foreclosure). In other words, market value is how much something is worth in the current financial market.
- What does reassessment have to do with the real estate taxes I pay?
The assessed value of your property and the real estate tax rate are used to determine real estate tax bills. For example: If the assessed value of your property is $100,000 and Franklin County's real estate tax rate is .61 cents per every $100 dollars of assessed value, then your tax bill for that property is $610. The Board of Supervisors sets the tax rate annually, typically in April.
- I didn’t make any changes to my property, why would my home be worth more this year?
In the past couple of years, homes locally and in other parts of the state and country have been selling for significantly higher prices. One reason for this increase is that there has been a shortage of homes for sale, also known as low inventory. When the supply of homes is lower, the demand is higher, which drives up prices for what is available. Other factors that have led to higher home prices include high labor/material costs and population shifts due to the pandemic.
- When will I receive my 2024 general reassessment notice?
You will receive your 2024 general reassessment notice in February 2024.
- Can I appeal my assessment?
Your general reassessment notice will include information on how to appeal if you feel that your property was not assessed accurately.
It’s important to note that an assessment appeal is not a place to lodge a complaint about taxes nor can you appeal your assessment just because you feel the value is too high.
An appeal is an opportunity for the taxpayer to review their property assessment to ensure market value, accuracy, and the equalization to other similar properties.
Real Estate Reassessment Update
The 2024 Franklin County real estate reassessment process is vitally important to maintain accurate, fair market valuations of real estate parcels across the county. On January 16, 2024, the Commissioner of Revenue and representatives from Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group, Ltd. provided the Board of Supervisors updated information on the 2024 general real estate reassessment. Information regarding the reassessment process, methodology, and next steps were addressed. Please see the video below for the presentation.
To learn more about the property assessment process, visit our Property Assessments page.
Important Information Regarding the 2024 Reassessment and How it Relates to your Taxes
Franklin County has finalized the general reassessment that is effective January 1, 2024. The purpose of the general reassessment is to establish a property’s fair market value. The last general reassessment to establish fair market value was effective January 1, 2020.
The reassessment process involved site visits by a team of assessors to each property throughout the county in order to verify information on the property data cards. These visits were completed in December 2023. The appraisers performed an in-depth market analysis of the most current sales data to determine the new fair market value of all real estate.
After the analysis was completed, a notice of the proposed 2024 valuations was mailed to all real estate property owners in February 2024. To provide property owners an opportunity to challenge the valuation, the dates and times of the appeals are printed on the reassessment notice.
Franklin County reassesses all real estate every 4 years. As many of you are aware, the real estate market has increased significantly since the 2020 reassessment, resulting in much higher values. While this would lead most to expect real estate taxes to increase significantly as well, that is not supposed to be the case. The tax rate set by the Board of Supervisors during the budget process is what drives revenue/tax increases, not the property value change to fair market value via the reassessment process. The purpose of the reassessment is NOT to generate more revenue, it is to redistribute the tax burden based on the value of your property.
The reassessment process is actually dictated in the Code of Virginia and the tax implication is supposed to be almost revenue neutral. The section of the code that addresses the tax implication is §58.1-3321 and is referenced below:
§ 58.1-3321. Effect on rate when assessment results in tax increase; public hearings; referendum.
A. When any annual assessment, biennial assessment, or general reassessment of real property by a county, city, or town would result in an increase of one percent or more in the total real property tax levied, such county, city, or town shall reduce its rate of levy for the forthcoming tax year so as to cause such rate of levy to produce no more than 101 percent of the previous year's real property tax levies, unless subsection B is complied with, which rate shall be determined by multiplying the previous year's total real property tax levies by 101 percent and dividing the product by the forthcoming tax year's total real property assessed value. An additional assessment or reassessment due to the construction of new or other improvements, including those improvements and changes set forth in § 58.1-3285, to the property shall not be an annual assessment or general reassessment within the meaning of this section, nor shall the assessed value of such improvements be included in calculating the new tax levy for purposes of this section. Special levies shall not be included in any calculations provided for under this section.
B. The governing body of a county, city, or town may, after conducting a public hearing, which shall not be held at the same time as the annual budget hearing, increase the rate above the reduced rate required in subsection A if any such increase is deemed to be necessary by such governing body.
DISCLAIMER: The 47% increase and assessment amount used in the illustration detailed below is for ease of calculations only and should not be interpreted as the actual projected amount of increase. The example below depicts what a revenue-neutral rate would be if the code above were followed:
CURRENT TAX RATE OF
Prior Property Assessment
Annual Tax Levy
1% Revenue Increase per State Code
47% Increase in Assessment
Tax Levy at Current Rate (0.61)
Total Tax Increase due to Newly Established Fair Market Value
REVENUE NEUTRAL TAX RATE OF
47% Increase in Assessment
Tax Levy at Revenue Neutral Rate
Total Tax Increase due to Newly Established Fair Market Value
Please call the Commissioner of Revenue office at 540-483-3083 opt. 3 or Margaret S. Torrence, Commissioner at 540-483-6650.