Real Estate Assessments
About the DivisionThe Real Estate Assessments division is tasked with producing biennial assessments on all properties located within James City County. Upon request, the division will provide an in-house review of disputed assessments during the 30 days following the date on the “Notice of Change” that is mailed to property owners. For more information on the valuation processes typically used, please view the state's Guide to Understanding Real Estate Assessment Values.
This division is also responsible for providing property information to both the public and County staff in formats that include informational reports, the annual Land Book, GIS (Geographic Information System) and this website. Staff of this division also provides administrative support to the Board of Equalization.
- Why do Real Estate Assessments exist?
Necessary county services, such as schools, police, and fire protection, are supported by tax revenue from the County. Real estate assessments are how localities fairly distribute the tax burden among all property owners. The distribution from the assessment is proportionally based on the market value of individual properties.
- What is the difference between mass appraisal and a single property appraisal?
Mass appraisal is defined as “the systematic appraisal of groups of properties as of a given date using standardized procedures and statistical testing.” It involves analyzing data collected in mass quantities, developing statistics from the data, and applying the results to large numbers of properties. Groups of sales are used to provide value indications for large populations of properties. The mass appraisal technique is used for tax assessment purposes and is necessary to accomplish mass valuation of the thousands of parcels within a locality.
When a fee appraiser values your property for financing or other purposes, you typically receive a single property appraisal consisting of three or more sales that estimate the value. The sales selected are generally similar and should be within reasonable distance to the subject property. In addition, the sales generally should have all occurred within a time frame of three to six months. Adjustments are made to the sales based on differences with your property and an indicated market value as of that date is given. Single property appraisals are not financially or logistically feasible for tax assessment purposes.
- When are the assessments done?
Reassessments of all parcels in JCC are done every two years. The next reassessment will be in Jan. 2024.
- What is the effective date of the assessment?
The 2022 Assessment goes into effect Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) which begins July 1, 2022. The first bill for the 2022/FY2023 assessment is due in December 2022, and the second half in June 2023.
- How do you come up with the change to assessed value?
Assessments are determined using actual sales data from valid sales within a property’s neighborhood or comparable neighborhoods from homes that have sold over the past 2 years.
Sometimes, there may be a substantial increase or decrease in the assessed value of a specific property when it doesn’t seem like there have been any meaningful changes to the property. Periodically, we review neighborhoods for accuracy and update our records accordingly. There is a chance that some information on a specific property was incorrect and has been updated.
Additionally, the assessed value of a particular parcel may be more or less than the County average. This is because the County average takes into account all parcels in a neighborhood and how they relate as a whole. A specific neighborhood may move more or less than the County average amount based on sales.
Your assessor can be contacted for specific concerns related to a particular property.