Office of The Real Estate Assessor
The Real Estate Assessor, is an appointee of Council and reports directly to the Portsmouth City Council. The Assessor is responsible for identifying and appraising all real property within the city. In order to accomplish this task, the Assessor supervises and directs a staff of appraisers and administrative support personnel.
Real Estate Assessment
The Assessor’s Office administers real estate assessments under the authority of the Constitution of Virginia, the Code of Virginia and the City of Portsmouth Code. Virginia State law requires real estate assessments to be at 100% of fair market value. (Code of Virginia Title 58.1 Taxation 58.1-3201). The definition of "fair market value" is: the price which a property will bring when it is offered for sale by one who desires, but is not obliged, to sell it, and is bought by one who is under no necessity of having it.
Real property in the city of Portsmouth is evaluated and assessed annually. The annual revaluation is an estimate of fair market value of all city properties as of January 1, and effective July 1, of the tax year. All real property in the city of Portsmouth is locally assessed with the exception of operating railroads, interstate pipelines, and public utilities which are assessed by the State Corporation Commission or by the State Department of Taxation.
In addition to determining property values, the Assessor’s Office also handles the following:
- Maintains property ownership changes
- Keeps an updated record of building descriptions and property characteristics
- Retains and updates maps of parcel boundaries within the jurisdiction
- Tracks properties eligible for exemption
- Analyzes trends in property sales, home prices, construction and renovation costs, and rents on commercial and industrial properties.
Once property values are determined, they are used to calculate the annual property taxes which are collected by the City Treasurer. The Assessor does not set the tax rate or collect tax payments. The revenue raised through these property taxes are used to help pay for all public services including police, schools, libraries, fire protection and other city services.