Frederick County property values up again

WINCHESTER – Most property owners in Frederick County saw the value of their investments increase, according to the latest reassessment.

The Commissioner of the Revenue’s office conducted the reassessment this year, recently completed the process and sent notices by mail last week to property owners about the new values. Commissioner of the Revenue Ellen Murphy said Friday that hearings for owners with concerns or questions about the reassessments begin Monday. The office has begun to set up appointments with property owners who might want to appeal the assessments, Murphy said.

“The assessment went up countywide about 7½ percent,” Murphy said. “That includes everything. That includes commercial, tax-exempt, residential, you know just across the board it was about that.”

Some properties’ values fell below the 7.5 percent increase while others came in above the average, the commissioner explained.

“Some of the nicer properties are selling and of course land is going bonkers in Frederick County,” Murphy added. “We have things building everywhere. There’s hardly a hard-surfaced road that doesn’t have something going up on it, or a number of somethings. That has driven the prices up because supply and demand and the more people that want to build the higher the price is gonna go.”

Some property owners might see a change only in the land value and not their house or vice versa. Others might see a change in both or none at all, Murphy said.

“It depended on where they sell in the market study,” Murphy added.

The Commissioner of the Revenue office began to conduct the county assessments more than 10 years ago, moving away from hiring an outside firm to perform the work. The office last performed the assessment two years ago. The last reassessment showed property values increased on average countywide by about 4.7 percent, Murphy said.

The county and the Board of Supervisors uses the data generated by the latest reassessment when officials begin to deliberate on a fiscal budget. The county charges a real estate tax rate of 60 cents per $100 of assessed value. The board will adopt a new tax rate in April and the levy will apply to the new assessments.

“At this time we can’t tell anybody what their tax is gonna be next ’cause we don’t know,” Murphy said.

Property owners wishing to discuss the assessments with county assessors can contact the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office at 722-8319.

Property owners who still wish to contest the new values can appeal the assessments to the Board of Equalization when the panel starts its hearings early next year.

Shenandoah County hired Wampler Eanes Appraisals to conduct the reassessment in 2015, the results of which showed property values on average fell, particularly for land. Warren County hired Wingate Appraisal & Mapping to conduct the assessment in 2014. Warren County property values increased by an average 5.5 percent when including those in Front Royal. Broken out, the values of property in Front Royal increased by 3.4 percent while those outside town limits increased by 7.4 percent.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com.