Rising home values are a good thing for Fairfax County homeowners thinking about selling. But for those staying put, they will equate to higher tax bills this year.
Residential home assessments rose an average of 4.25 percent from 2020 to 2021, according to figures reported Feb. 23 by the Fairfax County government. It’s a figure in line with real-world conditions of the past year, a period that has seen most homes increase in value locally despite the pandemic and resulting government lockdown.
The average assessment for all homes in Fairfax County stood at $607,752, up from $582,976 a year before, with increases reported in all three segments of the market:
• The average assessed value for single-family homes was up 4.17 percent to $725,327.
• The average assessed value of townhouses or duplexes was up 5.13 percent to $460,526.
• The average assessed value of condominiums was up 4.62 percent to $304,877.
In total, 88 percent of residential properties saw increased assessments, with 4.4 percent seeing declines and 7.6 percent unchanged.
Among the various magisterial districts in Fairfax, average assessed values were up 6.32 percent in Lee; 5.29 percent in Mount Vernon; 5.13 percent in Mason; 5.06 percent in Braddock; 4.89 percent in Springfield; 4.6 percent in Sully; 3.91 percent in Providence; 3.67 percent in Hunter Mill; and 2.53 percent in Dranesville.
Higher assessments will mean higher tax bills for most homeowners. Fairfax officials are contemplating a 1-cent decline in the tax rate, from $1.15 per $100 to $1.14, but for the owner of a typical single-family home, rising assessments would push the tax bill from $8,007 last year to $8,269 this year – an increase of 3.2 percent.
Homeowners either pay the government directly, with two tax-bill payments per year, or have those payments handled through an escrow account connected to their home loan.
While residential assessments were up, assessments on non-residential properties (commercial, industrial and rental apartments) saw a 4.05-percent decline due to current economic conditions.
There are 356,171 taxable parcels in Fairfax County. Assessment data on individual parcels can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
– Scott McCaffrey