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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the purpose of the City Assessor’s Office?This office is responsible for assessing the market value of all properties within the City of Lynchburg, except for properties owned by public service corporations, such as utility companies, rail companies, etc.
    What is market value?The most probable price that a willing and knowledgeable buyer and seller will agree upon, assuming a fair and normal sale with no undue pressure upon either party.
    How are real estate taxes calculated?The real estate tax rate is set by Council annually. The tax rate is applied to the assessed value, per $100.
    What does equalization mean?State law requires that “uniformity” or “equality” of assessments be attained to ensure that the tax burden be distributed fairly.
    What is the cost approach method to arriving at market value?Involves estimating the cost of improvements and deducting any accrued depreciation and adding the land value.
    What is the sales comparison approach to market value?The most common and widely used approach, where similar properties recently sold are adjusted for differences to the subject property being appraised.
    What is the income approach to market value?Used mostly in commercial and industrial properties based on estimating the income that the property can generate, the expenses incurred in the operation of the property and applying a capitalization rate.
    Why don’t all property values rise at the same rate every year?No two properties or neighborhoods are exactly alike. Factors such as location, house type, age, condition, size, terrain, heating type, number of baths, basement finish, fireplaces, porches, garages, decks and many others must be considered.
    How often are properties appraised?Biennially
    How can my value increase when I haven’t added on or renovated the building?Though not always the case, general economic conditions will influence the value of real estate.