Valuation System

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In Virginia, all localities are required by law to assess on the basis of fair market value.

Fair market value can be defined as the most probable price expressed in terms of money that a property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market in an arm’s length transaction between a willing seller and a willing buyer, both of whom are knowledgeable concerning all the uses to which it is adapted and for which it is capable of being used.

In Accomack County, reassessment of all the real property in the county is performed on a biennial basis (every two years).

There are three standard approaches used by appraisers in estimating the fair market value of real property.
  • The sales comparison approach which estimates the value of a property on the basis of the selling prices of comparable properties. 
  • The cost approach which estimates the replacement or reproduction cost new of a building, subtracts all value loss due to depreciation, and adds the value of the land to the sum. 
  • The income approach which estimates the present worth of an anticipated income stream generated by a property. 

The valuation of a very large number of properties as of a certain date is termed mass appraisal. In Accomack County there are in excess of 40,000 parcels and the date of assessment is January 1.

The mass appraisal process utilizes the basic principles of real property appraisal. The distinguishing characteristic of mass appraisal is that a great deal of emphasis is placed on statistics and the generalization of data. The ultimate goal of any mass appraisal process is uniformity of assessment. Comparable properties should have comparable assessments and each class of property should bear its fair share of the tax burden.

Assessment information is available to the public.