FROM

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Hearing in second year of biennial assessment program.—Absent a local ordinance prohibiting such a determination, the board of equalization may hear and consider taxpayer complaints in the second year of a biennial assessment program. See opinions of Attorney General to The Honorable Gene R. Ergenbright, Commissioner of the Revenue for the City of Staunton, 02-111 (12/11/02).

58.1-3379. Hearing complaints and equalizing assessments.—

  1. The board shall hear and give consideration to such complaints and shall adjust and equalize such assessments and shall, moreover, be charged with especial duty of increasing as well as decreasing assessments, whether specific complaint be laid or not, if in its judgment, the same be necessary to equalize and accomplish the end that the burden of taxation shall rest equally upon all citizens of such county or city.
  2. In all cases brought before the board, there shall be a presumption that the valuation determined by the assessor is correct, and the board shall be advised that it is not necessary that the taxpayer show that the assessment is a result of manifest error or disregard of controlling evidence, but rather that the standard of proof is in accordance with section C.
  3. The burden of proof shall be upon a taxpayer seeking relief to show that the property in question is valued at more than its fair market value, that the assessment is not uniform in its application, or that the assessment is otherwise not equalized. In order to receive relief, the taxpayer must produce substantial evidence that the valuation determined by the assessor is erroneous and was not arrived at in accordance with generally accepted appraisal practice. Mistakes of fact, including computation, that affect the assessment shall be deemed not to be in accordance with generally accepted appraisal practice.
  4. The commissioner of the revenue or other local assessing officer of such county or city shall, when requested, attend the meetings of the board, without additional compensation, and shall call the attention of the board to such inequalities in real estate assessments in his county or city as may be known to him.
  5. Every board of equalization may go upon and inspect any real estate subject to adjustment or equalization by it.
  6. The burdens and standards set out in subsections B and C shall apply in hearings before the board and nothing contained in this section shall be construed to change or have any effect upon the burdens and standards applicable to applications to correct erroneous assessments filed with circuit courts pursuant to 58.1-3984 through 58.1-3987. (Code 1950, 58-904; 1984, c. 675; 2003, c. 1036.