Cumberland Preps For Reassessment

Published 2:10 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CUMBERLAND — For property owners, now is the time. Reassessment notices were mailed out Monday, November 25, according to Julie A. Phillips, Cumberland Commissioner of the Revenue. Most will have received their notices by the time they read this story.

The County, on the other hand, has a little more time, but not very much. Time is of the essence.

During the November 12 Cumberland Board of Supervisors meeting, the board passed an ordinance establishing deadlines for when citizens could appeal their assessment with the Board of Equalization (BOE). The board is also looking for members for the BOE.

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The BOE hears appeals from property owners who disagree with their new assessments. They can adjust individual assessments either up or down. Ultimately, they are charged with ensuring that assessments are uniform across the county.

“If we don’t have an ordinance in place, than the Board of Equalization has to sit for the entire year and they have to be paid for the entire year,” Phillips told The Herald, explaining the need for the ordinance. The board passes an ordinance imposing the deadline every four years as part of the reassessment process.

County Administrator and Attorney Vivian Giles explained to the board of supervisors that the deadlines allow adjustments to be made and processed so that land books can be printed and the tax tickets can go out at the same time for everyone.

No one spoke during a public hearing held prior to the board’s vote. They unanimously approved the ordinance without discussion.

The ordinance establishes Friday, March 14, 2014, as the date by which citizens must apply to the BOE to appeal their reassessment. Two weeks later, on March 28, 2014, the board must make final decisions on those applications. In presenting the ordinance to the board, Giles explained that the dates were in keeping with previous deadline schedules.

Before Pearson’s Appraisal Services, Inc. hands over all of the assessment information to the Commissioner’s office, citizens have an opportunity to contact the company directly regarding any reassessment concerns.

However, citizens can go before the BOE without ever appealing to the assessor, if they so chose, Phillips told The Herald.

The County is also preparing by seeking to fill the five at-large seats for the BOE.

According to the Code of Virginia, all BOE members must be residents of the County, with the majority being landowners. Appointments to the board are to be broadly representative of the community. “Thirty percent of the members of the board shall be commercial or residential real estate appraisers, other real estate professionals, builders, developers, or legal or financial professionals,” according to state code.

Prospective members must attend training from the Virginia Department of Taxation for the position.

Those interested in serving on the board can obtain an application from the County Administrator’s office or online at the County website: