Property tax bills due in Fairfax Co., but there’s some relief for car owners

The pandemic caused the value of used cars and trucks to increase by 33% on average. While residents of Fairfax County, Virginia, won’t bear the entire brunt of that impact on their car taxes, they still will be paying more for what usually are depreciating assets.

“This is probably the No. 1 thing that I get emails on into the office. Panhandling might be a close second, but this is clearly a No. 1 topic,” said Republican Pat Herrity, Springfield District supervisor.

Payment is due Wednesday for existing vehicles and new vehicles registered in the county prior to July 1.

Back in April, the County Board changed the assessment ratio to assess vehicles at 85% of their fair market value versus the typical 100%, as determined by the J.D. Power pricing guide that’s used for evaluations statewide.

Courtesy Fairfax County

“The pandemic caused an unprecedented spike in vehicle assessments, so I am glad the board approved my initiative to reduce every vehicle’s value by 15% to help offset rising valuations — the first time Fairfax County has ever done this,” Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay told WTOP in a statement.

“I wish the Governor had also addressed this with the massive state budget surplus,” he said. “The amount of state personal property relief has been declining for our residents since the dollar amount has been frozen for 11 years!”

Vehicle tax assessments can be appealed.

“There’s a couple of different ways to appeal; if you’ve got significant body damage or a high-mileage vehicle, you can appeal. It is a relatively easy process for high mileage. It requires you to get an independent look at your car if it’s for body damage,” Herrity said.

The mileage and condition submitted for an appeal should represent the vehicle as it was as of Jan. 1, 2022.

As for the next budget cycle?

“I hope next year we can do better for our residents. I hope next year they don’t see another 15-30% increase in their car tax bill,” Herrity said.

“It’s time for this board to get its spending problem under control. And stop reaching into the pocketbooks of our residents.”

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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