Real Estate Tax
Real Estate Tax Bill
Anyone who owns property or acquires additional property, excluding those with exemptions or deferrals or those who maintain an escrow account with a mortgage company, should receive a tax bill fifteen (15) days prior the due dates of May 15 and November 15. If you do not receive a bill, contact the Billing & Collections Office before the due date at (804) 520-9320. The appropriate information can be given over the telephone. It is preferable, but not necessary to have the bill or a copy of the bill in order to make payment.
Virginia law requires that the City mail bills for taxes due at least two (2) weeks prior to the due date. The policy of the office is to mail bills at least thirty (30) days in advance of the due date. However, if a bill is not delivered on time, the taxpayer is not relieved of the penalty and interest charge required by law for late payment. This is true whether the cause is Post Office error. The only time penalty and interest is waived in this office is if it is fault in this office or fault in the Commissioner of the Revenue office. The law is clear that the taxpayer is required to know the due date, to determine the amount owed and to pay it on time, even when a bill is not received by the taxpayer.
Escrow Accounts with a Mortgage Company
If you maintain an escrow account with a mortgage company, your mortgage company remits payment for your taxes. However, if you do pay into escrow yet receive a bill, forward the bill to the mortgage company. You should also ask them to request, in writing, the bill from the Billing & Collections Office for future billings. It is the mortgage company's responsibility to request a tax bill for payment of your taxes and the homeowner's responsibility to ensure that the taxes are paid on time.
If the mortgage company fails to make the request in time for the due date, a late penalty will be added to any bill not paid by the due date. Interest will begin accruing on the first of the following month. It should also be noted that even though it is preferable to have the original or a copy of the bill, it is not necessary for payment. Payment information, in the event that the due date is near, may be acquired over the telephone.
If your mortgage should sell to another mortgage company, the property owner should contact this office immediately of the change at (804) 520-9320.
When You Purchase or Sell Real Property
Under Virginia law, real property is assessed for the entire year in the name of the owner as of January 1st of the year. The purchaser at a sale is required to see that the proceeds from the sale are applied at settlement to any taxes and levies assessed on the real estate. The liability is prorated between the buyer and the seller, but the lien which arises from a delinquency attaches to the land.
If you buy property, your settlement attorney must ascertain that all taxes due and prorates them for payment out of settlement. If you have sold the property referred to on the tax bill and another person has assumed responsibility for payment, please forward the bill promptly to that person or return it to the Billing & Collections Office with information as to the new owner. A delay on your part in this regard may require the new owner to pay a penalty and interest on a late payment.