The purpose of the Assessment Office is to ensure fair and equal taxation, by employing established methods of appraisal in combination with cutting edge technology.
Through the science of mass appraisal, our trained and experienced assessors are equipped to serve Wise County through professional and accountable practices that correspond to the requirements of state law, as well as, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
Our assessments are public information and are made available through our online assessment website, EagleWeb.
How the Assessor Values Property
Our Assessment Team has been trained in a variety of appraisal techniques, including sales comparison, cost assessment and mass appraisal. The two major components that contribute value to a real estate appraisal are land and all the improvements added to it.
The major factors which help determine the value of land are listed below:
- Location: The neighborhood where a piece of property is located can either add to or detract from its value.
- Sales: To be accurate and consistent, our office follows the principle of ad valorem taxation. Our Assessment Team is very familiar with the range of prices for which land sells in different areas of this county and we work daily with new sales and transfers, which keeps us apprised of all current trends.
- Potential: In order to take into account the land's highest and best use, assessors must consider its potential usage.
- Contour: Simply put, this is the lay of the land.
- Site values: Land that serves as a business site or house seat prove to sell higher on the open market.
Improvements to the Land
- Residential: All factors will be considered, including quality, location, the age of the home and its physical condition.
- Commercial: With such fluctuating factors as a fluid economy and expansion or reduction of business enterprises, the commercial appraiser is faced with a radically changing spectrum of variables. Features that the assessor will consider before reaching a final valuation include but are not limited to: Location and the flow of traffic, the cost of construction, potential use, economic influences, and deterioration of structures.
- Water and Sewer Hookups: Please note that these are always assessed as improvements to the land.
A general reassessment is necessary to ensure that current property assessments reflect an accurate value of what property is truly worth. Countywide general reassessment cycles are mandated by Virginia state law (Code of Virginia: § 58.1-3201, § 58.1-3252.). This is a normal function of government that exists in every locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, Article X, Section One of the Virginia Constitution states that “All property…shall be taxed. All taxes shall be levied and collected under general laws and shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax.” Many Supreme Court decisions have supported the requirement for uniformity.
The method of appraisal utilized by the Wise County Assessment Team is also mandated by Virginia State Law. § 58.1-3201 states that “All general reassessment…shall be made at 100 percent fair market value.” This is referred to as “ad valorem” taxation. Ad valorem is simply defined as “according to value.” Fair market assessments are also called for in the Constitution of Virginia. Section Two of Article X states that “All assessments of real estate…shall be at their fair market value, to be ascertained as prescribed by law.”
Periodic reassessments are necessary to ensure that property in our county is valued fairly and equally and that our assessments conform to state law. The value of a property may increase or decrease as a result of this process, even if there have been no changes to that property since the last reassessment. This is especially true if the sales market or construction costs have changed. Regardless of public perception or opinion, we are bound by state law to reflect what the scientific data indicates about any changes in our current market. It will always be our basic function and purpose to serve the citizens of Wise County and ensure an equal and fair assessment.