Assessment Appeals - Personal Property
If you feel your vehicle has been assessed (valued) incorrectly because of special circumstances relating to the condition of the vehicle (e.g., excessive rust, damage due to an accident) that may have caused the vehicle’s value to be less than the official assessed value, you may appeal your assessment to the Commissioner of Revenue pursuant to Virginia state law (Section 58.1-3980). An appeal can be made within three years from the last day of the tax year for which such assessment is made, or within one year from the date of the assessment, whichever is later.
All other appeals and requests for corrections (such as those involving situs, ownership or the proper garage jurisdiction) should be conveyed to the Commissioner’s office by calling (804) 633-4055.
*You may also appeal other types of personal property such as campers, trailers, RV’s, Boats, Airplanes etc.
Legal Basis for Uniform Assessments
Virginia state law (Section 58.1-3503.A(3)) requires the Commissioner of Revenue to assess vehicles using values found in a “recognized pricing guide” or a percentage of original cost, thus ensuring uniformity and equity of all assessments within a jurisdiction.
Virginia state law (Section 58.1-3515) also specifies that personal property assessments are to be based on property values as of January 1 of the tax year which begins on January 1 and ends on December 31.
How We Assess Motor Vehicles
Current model years - 90% of the total original cost of the vehicle. This does not include any manufacturer rebates.
Vehicles less than 20 years old - J.D. Power (NADA) official used car guidebook, eastern region, clean trade-in value. (Vehicles are entered and valued by full VIN #)
Definition of clean trade-in: Reflect a vehicle in clean condition. This means a vehicle with no mechanical defects and passes all necessary inspections with ease. Paint, body and wheels have minor surface scratching with a high gloss finish and shine. Interior reflects minimal soiling and wear with all equipment in complete working order. Vehicle has a clean title history. Vehicle will need minimal reconditioning to be made ready for resale.
Vehicles 20 years or older - 90% of the prior assessment or, if there is no prior assessment, a percentage of the total original cost based on the purchase year of the vehicle.
*The complete assessment methodology can be requested at any time by contacting the personal property department at (804) 633-4055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Reminders Before Filing an Appeal
- If the appeal form is filed within 10 working days of the due date of any personal property billing, then the entire bill must be paid by the due date to avoid penalty & interest. Any adjustments made to the bill from the appeal process will result in a credit on the account. The credit can either be refunded or applied to another tax or fee due to Caroline County.
- Appealing your assessment doesn’t guarantee that your personal property tax assessment will be lowered.
- If the condition of the item is not restored, then an appeal form must be filed each year with the Commissioner of the Revenue.
- An appeal becomes official once you have mailed the required documents (as determined by the post office postmark), emailed/submitted online, or delivered them to the Commissioner of Revenue’s office.
How to File an Assessment Appeal
- Complete, Sign, and return an assessment appeal form to the Commissioner of the Revenue office.
- Attach any supporting documentation (e.g. Independent expert appraisal, estimate for repair, pictures) which proves that the vehicle’s fair market value as of January 1st of the tax year was less than the official assessed value. The appeal will be denied if no supporting documentation is included.
Independent appraisals must include the following:
- Be on the appraiser’s letterhead
- Include the appraiser’s name, address, phone number and signature
- Describe the vehicle’s condition on January 1 of the assessment’s tax year
- List the specific conditions that makes your vehicle worth lower than the official assessed value. For example, excessive rust, body damage, missing engine. Excess mileage alone is not a sufficient reason.
- List each condition that existed on January 1 and the amount that condition contributed to your vehicle’s reduction in value.
- The Commissioner office will review the appeal and issue a written determination within 90 days from the date submitted.
Methods of Filing
- In person - An appeal application will be provided to you and can be returned at that time or be returned by any other method at a later date.
- Mail - Commissioner of the Revenue, P.O. Box 819, Bowling Green, VA 22427.
- E-mail - email@example.com
- Fax - (804) 633-3480
- Online - PDF - Printable/Fillable or Submit Online
For any questions, please feel free to contact the personal property department at (804) 633-4055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.