All real property in Arlington County is subject to taxation, except that which is specifically exempt. Property is assessed as of January 1 of each year by the Department of Real Estate Assessments. The County Board sets the tax rate at the end of April. Payment is made to the Treasurer's Office in two installments, due June 15 and October 5.
Under Virginia law, failure to receive a tax bill will not relieve the penalty and interest charge that must be applied to all past due bills. The post-mark applied by the U.S. Postal Service to envelopes containing payment is used to determine timeliness for mailed payments.
Arlington County has a real estate tax relief program for those homeowners who qualify. Click here for more information.
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 approximately four weeks prior to the due dates of June 15 and October 5. If you do not receive a bill, contact the Treasurer's Office before the due date at (703) 228-3090. 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 Treasurer mail bills for taxes due at least two (2) weeks prior to the due date. The policy of the Arlington County Treasurer's 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, a mistake in address information at the Treasurer's Office or any other such case. 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.
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 Treasurer's 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 and interest will be added to any bill not paid by the due date. 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.
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 determine all taxes are due and prorate 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 Treasurer's 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.
If your mailing address has changed, you must contact Arlington's Department of Real Estate Assessments (DREA) directly to notify them of the change. DREA can only accept a change of address notification with the signature of an owner. If you do not change your mailing address with DREA, you may not receive future tax bills.
To request a change of address form contact DREA at:
Arlington County Department of Real Estate Assessments
2100 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 611
Arlington, VA 22201
or go to their web page and look for the link to Forms on the left hand side of the page: DREA web page
If your tax payment is late because you did not receive your bill, or because you received it late, you will be liable for a 10% late payment penalty plus interest.