Real Estate Assessments

24Biennial Reassessment

The assessors completed the biennial reassessment of City of Martinsville real properties in late December 2022. Reassessment notices were mailed to property owners on January 9, 2023. The assessors are available to discuss the assessments during the review period, which has been set for January 17 through February 28, 2023. Any taxpayer who feels his property has been assessed in excess of its fair market value or has not been uniformly or equitably assessed in relation to other similar properties has the opportunity to appeal the assessment during the review period with the assessors or to file an appeal application with the Board of Equalization by April 3, 2023. The property owner or his agent has to prove that the property was assessed in excess of its fair market value.

Appeal Applications

Appeal Applications are available in the City Assessor's office, the Commissioner of the Revenue office, or may be downloaded:

Reassessment Values

The reassessment book of taxable and exempt properties is provided by clicking on the links below:

The values will not be considered final until the Board of Equalization completes their hearings and finalizes the values by May 15, 2021.

Purpose of the Reassessment

The purpose of a reassessment is to equally distribute the burden of taxation evenly within the locality. The foremost concern of the assessor is uniformity. This does not mean that all property is assessed at the same value, but that properties of equal value have equal assessments.

The assessors do not create the value of property. People buying and selling real estate in the open market establish the value of property. The assessor analyzes the sales, as well as replacement costs, income that a property may generate, property depreciation and location in order to arrive at a "fair market value" of the property.

Reassessment Process

Real property within the City of Martinsville is reassessed every two years. The assessor begins the process by establishing the rate tables that he will work with to equally and uniformly assess each property. The rate tables are created based on what it would cost to replace the property new. Once the tables are established the site visits begin. The assessor applies the rates to the property he is viewing. Age and condition of the building and location affect whether adjustments need to be made in order to arrive at an assessment of the market value.

The 2023 reassessment that was completed December 31, 2022 used sales data for comparison purposes from January 1, 2021 through October 2022. Property was assessed based on its value on January 1, 2023. The 2023 Reassessment becomes effective July 1, 2023 and remains in effect until June 30, 2025.

Fair Market Value

Fair market value is the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. The seller and buyer must be unrelated, the seller must be willing, and under no pressure to sell, and the buyer must be willing, and under no obligation to buy. The property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and the financing must be typical for that type of property. If all of these conditions are present, a market value, arm's-length sale exists.

Determining fair market value involves many factors:

  • Determining highest and best use of the property
  • Replacement cost less depreciation of the property
  • Recent sales of similar properties
  • Income generated by the property

The final assessment figure is a correlation of these factors giving the most weight to the approach that is most appropriate for the property being assessed.

Localities are required to assess property at 100% of its fair market value; however, since a reassessment is not done annually in the City of Martinsville (or many other localities), this is rarely achieved. The ratio of assessed fair market value, as compared to actual fair market value, generally will decrease during the two-year period that the assessment is effective, especially when market values continue to increase.

Board of Equalization

The Board of Equalization for the City of Martinsville is comprised of 5 members who are appointed by the Circuit Court Judge. The responsibility of the Board of Equalization is to hear and give consideration to assessment appeals and equalize the assessment if it is determined that the property has been improperly valued. The burden of proof is upon the taxpayer who appeals his assessment to the Board of Equalization that his assessment value should be adjusted by demonstrating that it has not been valued equitably with similar properties.

Applications to appeal an assessment before the Board of Equalization must be made by April 3, 2023, by the real property owner or his agent. The Board of Equalization must complete its review and equalization process by May 15, 2023. To obtain an appeal application and schedule a hearing time before the Board of Equalization contact the Commissioner of the Revenue office at 276-403-5131 or the Assessors' Office at (276) 403-5128 or (276) 403-5136.

Assessment Appeal Process

Reassessment notices were mailed on January 9, 2023 to the property owner of record. The assessor's review period is scheduled for January 17 through February 28, 2023, to give consideration to complaints and concerns regarding the reassessment.

Upon completion of the review period held by the assessors, the Board of Equalization will hear appeals that are filed by the April 3, 2023 deadline. The purpose of the hearings is for the Board of Equalization to equalize real estate assessments for which the owner may have a complaint. Applications for a hearing before the Board of Equalization may be obtained by contacting the real estate division of the Commissioner of the Revenue office at (276) 403-5128 or (276) 403-5136, by downloading them from the site listed above, or by emailing the real estate assessors. Applications for appeal must be filed by the April 3rd deadline.

By City Ordinance, the Board of Equalization must complete its work by May 15th. Once the Board of Equalization completes its work, the reassessment is final. The City Council uses the reassessment values to determine the tax rate necessary for generating revenue from real property.

Any taxpayer who fails to take advantage of the review period with the Assessors or the appeal process before the Board of Equalization may appeal to the Circuit Court. (See appeal options (PDF)) In all instances, the burden is on the taxpayer to prove that his assessment should be adjusted by demonstrating that his property has not been valued equitably with similar properties.

Tax Rates

The Martinsville City Council establishes all tax rates for local taxation as part of it annual budget process. The reassessment values are utilized as part of the budget process by City Council to determine the tax rate necessary for generating revenue from real property. Public hearings to discuss the tax rates are publicized in the Martinsville Bulletin 10 days prior to the hearing date.

The assessing officials have no authority in establishing the tax rate; their responsibility is to equitably assess a fair market value to all properties within the City of Martinsville. When the tax rate is applied to equitably assessed properties, property owners can be assured that they are only being asked to pay their fair share of the cost of providing services such as schools, police, and fire protection.

State law requires a public hearing on the tax rate to be established by the City Council when the reassessed values would result in an increase of one % or more of the total property tax levy from the previous year's levy. The tax rate established by City Council for the current fiscal year (FY24) is set at $0.99 per $100 of assessed value for real estate. Only city council has the authority to set the tax rate.