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What is the Personal Property Tax Relief Act?

The Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998, as revised in 2004, 2005 and 2017 provides tax relief for Personal use passenger cars, motorcycles, and pickup or panel trucks having a registered gross weight of less than 10,001 pounds and has passenger plates.  Motor homes, trailers and farm use vehicles do not qualify for tax relief.

Vehicles qualified for tax relief are noted on your tax bill and show a reduction on the first $20,000 of value for the portion of the tax the Commonwealth will reimburse the County for the tax year. If your qualifying vehicle's assessed value is $1,000 or less, the Commonwealth's share is 100%.

To Qualify: 

a vehicle must be owned by an individual or leased by an individual under a contract requiring the individual to pay the personal property tax;
be used less than 50% for business purposes.

A vehicle would be considered to be used for business purposes if:

More than 50% of the mileage for the year is used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes OR reimbursed by an employer;

More than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle is deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax;

The cost of the vehicle is expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code; or

The vehicle is leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual.

How Relief is Calculated

In 2004 and 2005, due to the cost of personal property tax relief, the General Assembly changed the funding formula used to provide car tax relief. For tax years 2001 through 2005, the state’s share for qualifying vehicles was 70%. In 1998, when the program began, the state’s share of personal property taxes was 12.5%.

Localities now receive a fixed, lump sum block payment that will not change regardless of the increased value or volume of vehicles added since the formula was developed, based on 2004 factors. As the result, the state will pay less of a share each year as the number and value of vehicles continues to grow. The new funding formula, effective for tax year 2006, requires a calculation each year to determine the share of personal property taxes to be paid by the property owner, based on the declining percentage of share funded by the state.

You are required to certify annually to the Commissioner of the Revenue that your vehicle remains qualified to receive car tax relief. Therefore, it is important that you review the information sent to you by your locality to be sure that your vehicles are properly qualified. If your vehicle is improperly qualified or you are uncertain whether your vehicle would be eligible for car tax relief because it is used part of the time for business purposes, contact the Commissioner of the Revenue. When you display your County decal and pay your taxes on qualified vehicles, you are certifying to the County that your vehicle has been qualified correctly.  

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