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Arlington County Property Values Up 6.6% Overall

Effective January 1, 2012, the value of the average residential property increased 1.8% while commercial properties, including office and apartments, increased 13.5%, according to a an Arlington County press release today. The value of the proverbial average residential property increased from $510,200 to $519,400.”

Although the overall single-family assessment was up 1.8%, that number depends on where you live in Arlington County. In the far west corner (area 1 on this map of Arlington County trend areas), assessments were up 3.6%. In the north (area 3, which is east of North Glebe Road and north and west of I-66), the average assessment increased 1.0%. In south Arlington, the average assessment in area 11 (east of I-395 and north of South Glebe Road) dropped 1.0%.

The press release adds that “46% of residential owners will see no change in their assessment; 22% will see declines of varying amounts. Of the 32% with increased values, the amount also will vary.”

You can look-up your property assessment here. Assessments are due to be mailed on January 20, 2012.

The press release provided this additional information about real estate assessments:

“Real estate assessments are appraisals -- the County's opinions of value for each parcel of real property in Arlington. Assessments are made according to accepted methods, techniques, and standards of the real estate appraisal and assessment profession. The 2012 assessment is an estimate of the fair market value as of January 1, 2012.

“Residential assessments were based primarily on neighborhood sales occurring July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. The real estate tax rate determines the amount of tax that is levied on the property. A uniform tax rate for all real property is set by the Arlington County Board; state code requires the County Board to use a uniform tax rate. In addition, Arlington levies additional taxes on commercial and industrial properties dedicated to transportation investments, as well as taxes for business improvement and sanitary sewer needs.

“For more information, visit the County website.”

The Arlington Sun Gazette has stories on the commercial sector fueling assessments and on the mail-out of updated property assessments. The ARLnow.com online news outlet also reports on the updated assessments.

If you disagree with your 2012 property assessment, you may do so between January 20 and March 1, 2012. Procedures are available at the above county website.

Finally, it looks as if the Arlington County Board gets about a 3% windfall profit from the 2012 assessments. How, Assuming inflation is less than or equal to 3%, the Board gets to spend several million dollars (equal to about 3% of total real estate taxes) without having to raise the real estate tax rate. (Paragraph added 1/21/12).

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