Friday, March 28, 2014
Arlington County's Residential Real Estate Assessment System - Class Action Lawsuit Waiting to Happen?
We head several complaints from Fairlington residents about the 2014 real estate assessments for their condominiums. Fairlington's condo units have more than 15 different floor plans, with various amounts of interior space. In general, assessment increases for 2014 were inversely proportional to the size of a Fairlington condo unit. Moreover, it appears that all condo units having the same size and floor plan have been assessed identically, not only this year, but for at least the past 11 years. So, no matter how much, or how little, money you put into a condo unit since 2003 the only thing that matters to Arlington's Assessment Staff is the sales price of condo units of the same size and floor plan. No sales, no assessment increase. Appears there is a huge amount of building permit data for residential housing across Arlington but these data are never used to estimate the value of improvements. Is this assessment system fair? Some Fairlington residents don't think so. And they're checking out their legal options.
You can see what condo units in your neighborhood with the same floor plan and interior space are assessed for by going to the County's Web page, arlingtonva.us, and clicking on Real Estate Assessments and then Look Up Property Now and enter a street name, leaving the number field blank. Then go up or down the screen clicking on each Parcel ID.