Personal Property FAQs

What type of property is taxable?

Taxable personal property consists of motor vehicles, trailers, campers, mobile homes, boats, airplanes and business personal property. You are required to file a personal property form with the Commissioner of the Revenue within 30 days of acquiring or bringing such property into Dinwiddie County. This applies to all vehicles owned by individuals or businesses, whether titled in Virginia or out of state.

Which vehicles are subject to the Vehicle Personal Property Tax?

All vehicles located in Dinwiddie County are subject to personal property tax, including vehicles that are not registered in Virginia, vehicles that do not run, and vehicles that are temporarily absent from Dinwiddie County. A vehicle is temporarily absent if it has not been legally registered in another jurisdiction.

Is it possible for the assessed value of my vehicle to be higher this year than it was last year?

Yes. Virginia State Code requires that all Virginia localities value tangible personal property as of a fixed date. This date, often referred to as “tax day," is January 1, regardless of when a vehicle may have been purchased or located in Dinwiddie County.

Dinwiddie County uses publications from The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) as the primary valuation guides for personal property assessment purposes, as do all 134 cities and counties in Virginia. In arriving at the used vehicle values published in its valuation guides, NADA collects and analyzes over half a million auto-related transactions per month, including both wholesale and retail sales. NADA collects its data from a number of sources, including automobile manufacturers, new and used vehicle dealers and over 165 automobile auctions nationwide. Additionally, NADA considers economic trends, geographic location, weather and environmental factors in the analysis of its automobile valuation data.

Due to various market factors, values for some vehicles may be higher as of January 1 of the current year than they were on January 1 of the previous year. This rise in vehicle value may be due to increased demand or diminished supply for a particular vehicle model or vehicle type, gas price fluctuations or other factors affecting vehicle sales, such as government or manufacturer incentives.

Does a new car manufacturer’s rebate reduce the original cost basis of a new vehicle for purposes of personal property tax assessment?

No. The local tax on tangible personal property is not a sales tax but a tax on the actual fair market value of property. If the preferred means of establishing the actual fair market value of a vehicle cannot be used (i.e., the clean loan value of the model and year of the individual vehicle are not listed in the recognized pricing guide), the taxpayer may present the commissioner of the revenue proof of original cost which may be used as an alternative basis of assessment. Such proof may consist of the new vehicle sales contract or purchase order which clearly shows the total purchase price upon which the motor vehicle sales and use tax was calculated.

Although the balance due on delivery may be reduced by credits for trade-ins, unpaid liens or encumbrances, manufacturers’ rebates or dealer discounts, the total purchase price or original cost for purposes of the motor vehicle sales and use tax and personal property tax is not reduced by such amounts.

If I disagree with the county’s assessment of my property, how can the value be changed?

The county assesses personal property on the assumption that it is in fair condition for its age. The vehicle owner can request a review of the assessment if a vehicle is not in average condition as of January 1 of the tax year because of high mileage, extensive un-repaired body damage or serious mechanical defects. This does not include normal wear and tear on tires, seals, battery, gaskets, pumps, hoses, belts, brake system, cooling system, electrical and ignition system, fuel system, exhaust system and front-end parts. Appealing your assessment does not guarantee that it will be reduced.

If your appeal is for high mileage, please submit an appeal form and attach a copy of the latest safety inspection slip, vehicle repair or similar documentation which shows the mileage. You may submit your January 1 mileage online by February 15 each year if you wish to have high mileage considered in the annual assessment process. If this is done, you do not have to submit an official assessment appeal form to our office.

For extensive un-repaired body damage or serious mechanical defects, please submit an appeal form and an itemized estimate from an automobile repair facility on business letterhead detailing the extent of damage and the cost to repair the vehicle. Other acceptable documentation would be a copy of an insurance company estimate describing the condition and cost to repair the damage. It must be clear from the documents provided that the condition existed on January 1 of the tax year.

All appeals must be received by December 31 of the tax year being appealed. Appeals are reviewed in the order received. Please allow up to 60 days for processing. The tax bill is still required to be paid by the respective due date. If the assessment is later reduced as a result of the appeal, the county will issue a tax refund. The Commissioner recommends that, to avoid a late payment penalty, you pay the bill.

What is unusually high mileage?

In an effort to accurately determine the value of vehicles, the commissioner of the revenue considers high mileage. Please refer to the mileage chart (PDF) for required mileages.

How are antique motor vehicles assessed?

Dinwiddie’s local ordinance exempts from local taxation as household goods, personal effects, and antique motor vehicles, as defined in Section 46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia as amended, which are not used for general transportation purposes.

How are mobile homes assessed?

Mobile homes used as residences are assessed at the fair market value and taxed at the real estate rate.