Residents Face Higher Local Vehicle Property Tax Bills | New

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BLUEFIELD – Rising “book value” of vehicles is impacting residents of both Virginias this year as they prepare to pay higher property taxes.

Counties assess the value of vehicles based on updated numbers from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the value of cars and trucks nationwide has skyrocketed due to shortages of new vehicles and fuel. opportunity.

According to Consumer Price Index figures, used car prices are more than 40% higher than they were before the pandemic (Q1 2020).

The shortage of new cars is the result of the slowdown in production during the pandemic and the resulting scarcity of computer chips. This has created an increased demand for used vehicles.

Virginia residents see less impact from vehicle tax than West Virginia residents since Virginia began paying about half the tab several years ago under the Jim Gilmore administration.

Not only that, the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors voted in June to assess vehicles at 90% of market value this year rather than 100%, giving residents pause, the Tazewell County Treasurer said. , David Larimer.

“It will help some,” he said. “If the NADA value is $20,000, the valuation will drop to $18,000.

But the state’s Personal Property Tax Relief (PPTR) program helps a lot, he added.

The program was launched to help relieve residents of the burden of vehicle property tax by reimbursing counties for any lost revenue, which amounts to about $2.7 million per year for the county, said Larimer.

For example, he said the tax for a 2015 Nissan Rogue last year was about $175, but the owner only paid $89, with the state picking up the rest.

Condition and high mileage can also be factors to reduce vehicle tax.

Tazewell County Deputy Chief Revenue Commissioner Anita McReynolds said the county is handling vehicle property tax assessments next week, so she’s not yet sure of the average tax increase. for residents after the rise in vehicle values. made in.

“We have to do it within 90 days of the budget being passed by the oversight board,” she said, and it happened in June.

Larimer said the resulting tax bills for this year (on vehicles registered in the county on Jan. 1) will be mailed Oct. 10 and due Dec. 5.

In Mercer County, the situation is the same with increasing vehicle assessed values ​​and increasing personal property tax bills, but the tax rate is much higher and the state does not take any part of the tab.

Revenue Commissioner Lyle Cottle said in a previous article that the average vehicle tax ticket in Mercer County is based on a percentage of book value and is around $450, and can exceed $2,000. $ on more expensive vehicles, with different taxes if located inside the city. limits.

Those bills will increase, he said, as NADA’s numbers are updated daily.

West Virginia Senate members want to change that and eliminate the tax, reimbursing counties for lost revenue.

However, an amendment to the state Constitution giving legislatures the power to eliminate the tax, as well as the business equipment and inventory tax, is on the November ballot for voters to decide.

If passed, it remains to be seen whether the Senate will be able to get enough lawmakers and Gov. Jim Justice to eliminate those taxes.

All Mercer County commissioners oppose the amendment, saying there must be a guarantee of a continued stream of revenue to cover the $11 million the county would lose if taxes were removed, the money used for schools, law enforcement, parks and other services.

They want to see lawmakers come up with a plan before the Nov. 8 election.

Statewide, counties would lose more than $515 million, which the state would have to pay back to return the counties whole.

Meanwhile, residents not only have to deal with higher vehicle prices, but also higher property taxes.

— Contact Charles Boothe at [email protected]

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