Tax Relief and Exemptions

Disabled Veterans

Virginia General Assembly legislation exempts from real estate tax the principal residence of disabled veterans – those whose disability is 100 percent service-connected, permanent and total. The exemption extends to the surviving spouse, if the veteran’s death occurred on or after January 1, 2011.

Veteran Exemption Qualifications:

  • Disability of Veteran must be 100% service-connected and permanent and total.
  • Applicant must own and occupy the residence as their principal residence.
  • The veteran’s spouse, if applicable, must also be identified on the application.

Surviving Spouse Exemption Qualification:

  • Deceased veteran must have died on or after January 1, 2011.
  • The surviving spouse must own and occupy residence as their primary residence.
  • The surviving spouse must not be remarried.

Required Documentation:

  • Certification of Disability of 100% service-connected, permanent and total, by Veterans Administration.
  • Certification of the effective date of the 100% rating.
  • If applicable, copy of Veteran’s death certificate to certify death occurred on or after January 1, 2011.

Disabled Veterans Exemption Application

Surviving Spouses of Members of the Armed Forces Killed in Action

Virginia General Assembly legislation exempts from real estate tax the principal residence of surviving spouses of members of the armed forces killed in action.

Surviving spouse of members of armed forces killed in action Exemption Qualifications:

  • Residence must be occupied as the principal residence of a qualified surviving spouse.
  • Dwelling must be zoned as single family residential.
  • Average assessed value of dwellings zoned as single family residence is $762,700 for year 2022.
  • The surviving spouse must not be remarried.

The exemption applies regardless of whether the spouse was killed in action prior to the effective date of the amendment.

Exemption from taxation applies to surviving spouse’s principal place of residence, even if he or she moves to a new principal place of residence.

Exemption would not require the surviving spouse to have been residing in the commonwealth at the time his or her spouse was killed in action.

Required Documentation:

  • Copy of death certificate of member in United States armed forces killed in action.
  • Copy of marriage certificate.

Surviving Spouses of members of the armed forces killed in action application

Buildings Razed, Destroyed or Damaged by Fortuitous Happenings

Virginia General Assembly Legislation allows for abatement of levies on buildings razed, destroyed or damaged by fortuitous happenings if the following requirements are met:

  • The decrease in assessed value caused by the damage must be more than $500.
  • The destruction or damage must render the building unfit for use and occupancy for thirty days or more during the calendar year.
  • Applications for abatement must be made by or on behalf of the owner of the building within six months of the date on which the building was razed, destroyed or damaged.

Fortuitous happenings that qualify are beyond the control of the owner such as house fires, tree damage, flooding or any other fortuitous happenings that causes the improvements unfit for use or occupancy for thirty days or more. Abatements for qualifying instances, will be applied to the damaged improvements only and not the land.

To apply for this abatement, please notify the Department of Real Estate Assessments in writing of the abatement request within six months of the occurrence, and you will be contacted by an Appraiser to set up an inspection of the damaged property. Documentation may be required to show the dates of when the fortuitous happening occurred, such as insurance reports, fire damage reports, permit reports, etc.

Older or Disabled Homeowners

Arlington homeowners who are age 65 or older, or disabled may be eligible for real estate tax relief. The Arlington County Real Estate Tax Relief Program provides an exemption and/or deferral of real estate taxes for qualified Arlington homeowners age 65 and older and certain totally and permanently disabled homeowners.

Tax Exemption by Property Class

The Constitution of Virginia allows for certain properties to be exempt from taxation by classification. This exemption generally applies to properties owned by state or local governments, nonprofit or charitable organizations, properties owned and utilized for religious purposes or nonprofit educational purposes. Please refer to the Virginia State Code § 58.1-3606. Property exempt from taxation by classification (virginia.gov) to reference all qualifying properties. To request an exemption by class, an application(PDF, 285KB) with all required documentation must be completed and submitted to the Director of Real Estate Assessments for review. Please refer to the application for further details. 

Arlington County Solar Exemption Tax Credit Program

Property owners may qualify for a tax exemption credit on installed certified solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices that are to be designed and used primarily for the purpose of collecting, generating, transferring, or storing thermal or electric energy. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 58.1-3661 & Arlington County Code Section 20-9, property owners may apply to the County Building Official to have their equipment certified and approved for a tax exemption in the form of a credit deducted from their annual real estate tax bill. Once certified, the qualifying solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices are valued by the Arlington County Real Estate Assessor to determine the amount of the tax exemption credit to be deducted from the annual real estate tax bill. This annual tax exemption credit deduction will last for five years starting in the year following the application approval. If an application is approved and certified, the tax exemption will be in effect on January 1st of the following year and will be in effect for five consecutive years.

Solar Exemption Application:

Application Process:

  • Ensure that all solar equipment is properly permitted and installed as required under the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC).
  • Complete a Solar Energy Equipment, Facilities, or Devices Taxation Application and submit the application and required documentation to the Arlington County Building Official.
    • Provide a copy of the plans, specifications, and drawings of the solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices.
    • Provide a brief narrative description of the function of the solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices.
    • Provide any documentation for the cost of the installed solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices (materials and labor).
  • The application will either be denied by the Arlington County Building Official, at which time a denial letter will be provided, or will be certified and sent to the Arlington County Assessor for valuation. (Any person aggrieved by a decision of the local building department may appeal such decision to the local board of building code appeals, which may affirm or reverse such decision)
  • If certified, the Assessor will determine the value of the equipment which shall not be less than the normal cost of purchasing and installing such equipment, facilities, or devices. 
  • A written determination of value will be provided to the property owner from the Assessor, and the value will be used annually for a consecutive five year term to calculate the exemption credit that is deducted from the annual real estate tax bill.

Sample Exemption Credit Calculation:

  • An application was submitted and approved during the 2023 calendar year which means an exemption credit will be calculated and deducted from the 2024 real estate assessment tax bill.
  • The cost of installation and purchasing the equipment was determined by the Assessor to be $30,000.
  • Based on the FY 2025 real estate tax rate of $1.033 per hundred dollars of assessed value, the $30,000 exemption value would equate to a tax credit deduction of $309.90 from the annual real estate tax bill amount. This is calculated by dividing the $30,000 by 100 and multiplying that amount by $1.033. ($30,000/100)*1.033 = $309.90
  • The exemption value as determined by the Assessor upon approval of the application will remain the same for each of the five consecutive years 2024 – 2028.
  • The calculated exemption credit deducted from the annual real estate tax bill will be calculated each year based on that year’s tax rate.

Contact:

Please contact the Department of Real Estate assessments at 703-228-4874 or assessments@arlingtonva.us with any questions or assistance with this process. 

Partial Exemption for Rehabilitated Properties

Certain substantially rehabilitated, renovated or replaced properties, both residential and commercial, are eligible for a partial real estate tax exemption.

Qualifications and Applications