A. The commissioner will provide written guidance to and respond to requests for information from Commissioners of the Revenue, other assessing officials, or veterans regarding the exemption, including interpretation of the provisions of subdivision (a) of Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia and the implementing statutes. Such requests may be by telephone or in writing. Request for an appeal must be in writing.
B. The commissioner does not have the authority to answer questions regarding the assessed value of any property. Such questions should be answered solely by the veteran's respective Commissioner of Revenue or other assessing official.
C. A veteran
or surviving spouse desiring to appeal a denial of an application for exemption by a Commissioner of the Revenue or other assessing official shall send a written request for appeal and the document from the veteran's respective Commissioner of Revenue or other assessing official denying the veteran's application as follows: 1. By electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com with a subject line that states "ATTN: Tax Exemption – APPEAL"; or 2. By contact the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services by U.S. mail or delivery to Commissioner, Virginia Department of Veterans Services, "ATTN: Tax Exemption - APPEAL," 101 N. 14th Street, 17th Floor, Richmond VA 23219.
D. The commissioner may conduct hearings telephonically, by video conferencing means, or if the commissioner determines it necessary, in person at the department's headquarters in Richmond. The appeal shall be limited to issues involving the tax exemption eligibility criteria. The commissioner is not authorized to hear or decide appeals regarding a dispute over a property's assessed value.
E. In advance of any hearing, both the veteran
, or surviving spouse, and the Commissioner of the Revenue, or other assessing official, shall be provided (i) reasonable notice of the time, date, and location of the hearing; (ii) the right to appear in person or by counsel, or other qualified representative, before the agency or its subordinates for the presentation of factual data, argument, or proof in connection with any case; and (iii) notice of all facts or information in the possession of the department that could be relied upon in making a decision.
F. The commissioner shall render a decision within 90 days from the date of the hearing, or from a later date agreed to by the veteran
, or surviving spouse, and the commissioner. If the commissioner does not render a decision within 90 days, the veteran may provide written notice to the commissioner that a decision is due. If no decision is made within 30 days from the commissioner's receipt of the notice, the decision shall be deemed to be in favor of the veteran.
G. The final decision by the commissioner shall be mailed to all named parties.
H. A decision of the commissioner may be appealed by either party to the circuit court in the locality in which the veteran
or surviving spouse resides.
I. The burden shall be upon the party complaining of the commissioner's decision to designate and demonstrate an error of law subject to review by the circuit court. Such issues of law include
: (i) accordance with constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity; (ii) compliance with statutory authority, jurisdiction limitations, or right as provided in the basic laws as to subject matter and the factual showing respecting entitlement in connection with case decisions; (iii) observance of required procedure where any failure therein is not mere harmless error; and (iv) the substantiality of the evidentiary support for findings of fact. Any necessary facts in controversy shall be determined by the court upon the basis of the agency file, minutes, and records of its proceedings, augmented, if need be, by the agency pursuant to order of the court or supplemented by any allowable and necessary proofs adduced in court, except that the function of the court shall be to determine only whether the result reached by the agency could reasonably be said, on all such proofs, to be within the scope of the legal authority of the agency. The court shall take due account of the presumption of official regularity, the experience and specialized competence of the agency, and the purposes of the basic law under which the agency has acted.