The City of Alexandria has mailed real estate assessment notices to all property owners, representing the fair market value of properties as of January 1, 2015.
“This year’s assessments are consistent with a sluggish regional economy,” said Acting City Manager Mark B. Jinks. “Although there is modest growth across homes and businesses, the commercial sector assessments are near flat.”
The overall value of Alexandria’s tax base increased 3.5 percent compared to January 2014, although each individual property’s value may have increased or decreased. Growth in the residential tax base was largely due to appreciation of existing properties, while commercial tax base was strengthened by new construction of multi-family apartment buildings. Existing commercial properties have been subject to same weak market conditions that are currently being experienced throughout the region.
The commercial tax base includes multi-family commercial properties (apartments), office buildings, hotels, and shopping centers, with office buildings representing more than half of the commercial properties. The existing office building sector has only increased by 0.6 percent over 2014. The hospitality sector experienced a decrease, which continues to be impacted by federal budget cuts and sequestration. This is consistent with stagnant economic growth throughout the region, which has negatively impacted hotel, meals and sales tax for Alexandria and neighboring jurisdictions.
Residential assessments grew consistently across all classifications of property. The average single family home value has increased by 2.92 percent, to $702,098. The average condominium value, which saw the most significant loss during recession years, has increased 3.51 percent, to $302,843. The average assessment for all residential property types, including single family homes, townhomes, and condominiums, has increased 3.08 percent, to $509,853.
As required by state law, the City assesses all properties at 100 percent of their fair market value as of January 1 of each year. The assessments released will be used to apply the real estate tax rate to be set by City Council on May 7, with payments due on June 15 and November 15. Residential assessments are based primarily on neighborhood sales of comparable properties in 2014. Commercial assessments are based on the highest and best use of the property, income and expense data related to the business occupying the property, and other economic factors.