Personal Property Tax Assessments FAQ

Personal Property Tax Assessments FAQ


Fairfax County citizens enjoy
a high standard of living that is second to none. The value
of the County’s public services is reflected every
time you enjoy family time at a park or a historic site,
check out a book from the library, or when you receive
emergency assistance from the police and fire and rescue.
These basic services provided by the county contribute to
the quality of life we enjoy as residents. The money that
Fairfax County uses to pay for these public services comes
from several different sources. One primary source of
revenue is the personal property tax. It generates
over 15% of the county’s general budget to fund
programs and services to a diverse population of more
than one million residents. It’s important for residents
to understand how personal property is assessed. Let’s
go over answers to the most commonly asked questions about
Personal Property Taxes. What is considered personal
property? Personal property tax is assessed on
automobiles, trucks, motor homes, motorcycles, trailers,
campers, boats, outboard motors, planes and business
personal property. For car owners, the Fairfax County
Code requires owners of motor vehicles newly acquired or
moved into the County to file for car taxation within 60
days, otherwise a penalty for late filing will be assessed.
Also, if a vehicle does not have Virginia license plates,
the owner will be assessed a $250 no plate penalty and a
$100 No Plate Tax, both annually and non-proratable,
until the vehicle is registered with DMV. The No
Plate Penalty and tax are collected along with local
personal property taxes assessed against vehicles
normally garaged in Fairfax County displaying out-of-state
license plates beyond the first 30 days. You can file a
personal property declaration form on line at
www.fairfaxcounty.gov” fairfaxcounty.gov/taxes, or
over the phone by calling 703-222-8234, TTY 711. Please
make sure you have your vehicle registration form
handy before making this call. You can also file in person at
the Department of Tax Administration office at the
Fairfax County Government Center. How does the county
determine the value of personal property? Your
personal property tax bill reflects the value of your car
on January 1st of the tax year. Personal property is
valued or assessed by Virginia Law. Under the Virginia
statues, a motor vehicle is required to be valued by means
of a recognized pricing guide. Fairfax County uses the
National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide,
which is well recognized throughout the country and
internationally. From that guide, the column of values
labeled clean trade-in is used to best reflect fair
market value as of January 1st. How is my personal
property tax calculated? Your vehicle’s assessed value is
one of the key factors used to determine your tax bill. The
other is the tax rate. The current tax rate for motor
vehicles is $4.57 per $100 of assessed value. For example,
if your vehicle is valued at $10,000, the tax is determined
by dividing 10,000 by 100, and multiplying it by the tax
rate. Your tax would be $457. There are exceptions to the
standard personal property tax rate. The following are
currently taxed at a rate of one cent per $100 of assessed
value: antique automobiles, certified van pool vehicles,
vehicles equipped to transport disabled individuals, some
vehicles owned by members of volunteer fire and rescue
squads and auxiliary police vehicles owned by qualifying
citizens age 65 or older or individuals who are totally
and permanently disabled, aircraft and flight
simulators, furniture of homeowner’s associations,
office and maintenance equipment and boats. Another
exception is mobile homes, which are taxed at the real
estate rate. Slightly different procedures apply to
different types of personal property. Boats, trailers,
mobile homes, and airplanes kept in the county as of
January 1st must be declared on tax forms by May 1st. Taxes
on these properties are not pro-rated, except for mobile
homes, which may be pro-rated when they are moved into the
county. When are the personal property taxes billed and
payment due? Personal Property Taxes are billed in the summer
and are always due on October 5th, or the next business day
if October 5th falls on a weekend. All vehicles
registered with Fairfax County between July and December are
billed in late December and are always due on February
15th, or the next business day if February 15th falls on a
weekend. Are businesses required to pay a personal
property tax? Yes. Businesses in Fairfax County must also
pay their fair share of the tax burden. There are two
major business taxes in the county: Business, Professional
and Occupational License, or BPOL Tax, and the Business
Tangible Property Tax. Examples of business tangible
property include desks, chairs and other furniture, computer
hardware, specialized tools, machinery, and equipment. The
current tax rate for business tangible property is $4.57 per
$100 of assessed value. Business tangible property is
depreciated and taxed based on a percentage of its original
cost. Businesses must file a personal property tax return
by May 1st, except for vehicles for which they have
previously filed. For 2019, Business tangible property tax
payments are due on
Monday, October 7th. The Department of Tax
Administration is working to ensure the personal property
tax process works as smoothly as possible for everyone,
through quick and efficient customer service, accurate and
reliable information, and fair and equitable treatment under
the law.

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