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☷ Chesterfield County Virginia - Statement from Chesterfield Commissioner of  the Revenue Jenefer Hughes

☷ Chesterfield County Virginia - Statement from Chesterfield Commissioner of the Revenue Jenefer Hughes

Chesterfield County , state Virginia
| 15| 1
   
   This is a statement from Chesterfield County Commissioner of the Revenue Jenefer Hughes regarding the increase in vehicle tax bills from 2021 to 2022 .  
   The Commissioner of the Revenue is a constitutional officer who is elected and operates independently of the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator .
   “Most Chesterfield County citizens are seeing an increase in personal property tax bills in 2022 .  
   The reason is the dramatic increase in used car prices . As the global economy recovers from the COVID pandemic , supply chain issues continue to affect new car manufacturing , which in turn has escalated demand for used cars , particularly those purchased in the last 5 years . This means it is not uncommon to see vehicles valued at more than the purchase price .  
   It’s important to understand the economic dynamics in the used car market to contextualize the personal property increase . The Commissioner of the Revenue is responsible for assessing personal property taxes (
   VA Code Sec 58 . 1 - 3100 - 3123 . 1
    ) . My office has used the same assessment methodology for at least 35 years . I have explained this below .
   VA Constitution Article X , Sec 2
    requires assessment of personal property at Fair Market Value .
   VA Code Sec 58 . 1 - 3503 ( 3 )
    then directs the use of a “recognized pricing guide” for valuation at retail , trade - in or loan value . The JD Power Used Car Guide for the Eastern Region is considered the “recognized pricing guide” by the Commissioner of the Revenue Association , and all localities use it for vehicle assessment purposes . The JD Power valuations are based on objective market analytics , which includes the current price of vehicles . We live in a free market economy , and vehicle prices are affected by free market dynamics . When there are supply issues and demand is high , prices go up until supply matches or exceeds demand . When the economy is operating “normally” , vehicle prices will decrease and so will your vehicle tax bill . At this time , we don’t have enough information to predict when that will happen .
   At the end of January , my office performs a mass valuation of over 400 , 000 vehicles in our system , and then sends a Return of Tangible Personal Property to every vehicle owner notifying them of their vehicle’s assessment . The Personal Property Return included a newsletter that highlighted the fact that vehicle assessments were likely to increase this year , as they did last year . Starting in Fall 2022 , the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office will launch an online taxpayer portal , which will make it much easier for citizens to access their vehicle assessment data .
   In 2022 , the total vehicle assessment resulted in $22 million more tax revenue than in 2021 . The Board of Supervisors received this information the day after the mass valuation was completed , to give them time to consider their options . They recognized this was a result of a disruption in the economy and focused on strategies to mitigate the tax increase this year . They chose to send back the entire amount of the tax increase to citizens , in two ways:
   Leverage the Car Tax Relief legislation signed by Gov . Gilmore , to provide relief on vehicles driven for personal use . This year , the Board of Supervisors voted to increase the percentage tax relieved to 55% , which is unusual . Typically , this percentage trends down , because the county receives a fixed $41 million , which is applied to a growing number of vehicles , reflecting the county’s population increase ( around 43% would be normal ) . The legislation , however , only allows this relief up to $20 , 000 of a vehicle’s value , so a maximum of $389 . This maximum threshold has not been revised since the legislation was signed . The actual cost to the county for this tax relief was $23 million .
   Cut the Vehicle License Tax by 50% , to $20 . This measure cost the county over $7 million .  
   In total , the county returned $30 million to taxpayers to mitigate the increase in personal property tax assessments . They did the right thing .  
   Taxpayers have the right to appeal an assessment at any time , per VA Code Sec 58 . 1 - 3980 . There are instructions at
   chesterfield . gov/comrev
    to appeal . Every appeal is reviewed and considered , and the taxpayer will receive a response . However , the onus is on the taxpayer to prove the assessment is incorrect .  
   We are living through unusual economic conditions . Inflation is up and prices for goods and services are increasing , which had a direct impact on your real estate and vehicle taxes . At least with real estate , you expect the investment in your home , and therefore your real estate taxes to increase . You buy a vehicle , expecting it to depreciate as it gets used , and therefore to decrease in value . Unfortunately , the law requires a different valuation method , which in 2022 resulted in an increase in vehicle tax assessments . ”
   For more information or to contact the Commissioner of the Revenue , visit the
   
   Commissioner of the Revenue webpage
    ,
    call 804 - 748 - 1281 or email
   cor@chesterfield . gov
    .
    
   

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