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The Commissioner of the Revenue is required by law to assess vehicles by means of a recognized pricing guide. The pricing guides utilized by the City of Charlottesville are the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) official used car guide and the official older used car guide. Clean trade-in is the value taken from these books. If a vehicle is not listed in the guide, the assessment will be based on a depreciated prior-year NADA Clean Trade-in Value and if none listed then a percentage of purchase cost or a percentage of MSRP.
The pricing guide utilized for motorcycles is the National Automobile Dealers Association Motorcycle appraisal guide. The value taken is clean trade-in.
For trailers, the assessed value is based on a percentage of the original cost.
The personal property tax rate is established by the Charlottesville City Council. The tax is figured by multiplying the property’s assessed value by the tax rate. The current personal property rate is $4.20 per $100 of assessed value. The current rate for machinery and tools is $4.20. Mobile homes are assessed at the real estate tax rate which is currently $0.95.
The City of Charlottesville is one of several localities in Virginia with the authority to collect personal property taxes on a pro-rated basis. In general terms, a vehicle’s tax will be prorated on a monthly basis based on the number of months it has a situs in the City of Charlottesville or is owned by the taxpayer. Boats and business equipment are not prorated.
If you move out of state or into another prorating locality in Virginia or sell your vehicle, you are eligible to have your personal property tax bill prorated. You may receive either a credit or a refund of taxes paid for the portion of the year your property was not located in Charlottesville.
Personal property taxes are billed in two installments. The first installment, which includes your city vehicle license fee, is due June 5. The second installment is due December 5.
The City of Charlottesville does not require automobiles to display a decal. All vehicles with active license plates will be charged a city license fee. This fee will be included in the first installment of personal property taxes.
If you have changed your vehicle information at DMV to reflect a garage jurisdiction of Charlottesville, this information should be forwarded to the Commissioner by DMV. If you have not changed this information at DMV, contact the Commissioner’s Office immediately. You should also register with the Commissioner’s Office for personal property tax within 30 days of moving here.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Commissioner of the Revenue must be notified within 30 days. This is the legal responsibility of the citizen, not that of the motor vehicle dealer or new owner. You may notify the Commissioner of Revenue’s office by completing our Personal Property Disposal Form.
Virginia law requires you to register with the locality of your jurisdiction within 30 days of purchasing (or otherwise becoming the owner) of a vehicle.
Under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, active-duty military personnel are subject to state and local taxation only in their home of record. If you maintain the City of Charlottesville as your legal residence and your vehicle is registered in Virginia you would be liable for personal property tax regardless of where you may be stationed or where your vehicle may be garaged or located during the tax year. If you and your spouse are in Charlottesville by virtue of military orders, you would not be liable for personal property tax. Any service member requesting an exemption from personal property tax will be required to submit a copy of their most recent leave and earnings statement.
If you are a full-time student attending an institution of higher learning in Charlottesville, you would not be liable here if you are paying a personal property tax on the vehicle in your domicile. If you are a resident of Charlottesville attending college elsewhere, you are liable for personal property tax here.