Simple solution on car taxes

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Regarding the article “Will Smithfield cut car tax?” in the April 6 edition of The Smithfield Times, it seems to me that there is an elegant solution to the problem of surprise tax increases on personal property caused by large increases of personal property assessments like the ones mentioned in the article.

There is a Virginia statute, § 58.1-3321, “Effect on rate when assessment results in [unlegislated] tax increase.” This statute applies to real property (real estate), but with a modest rephrasing it could be added separately to the code to give uniform structure to addressing unlegislated personal property tax increases that are the focus of the article.

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The purpose of § 58.1-3321 is to require taxing jurisdictions to legislate and publish notices of tax increases and not automatically benefit from market increases in assessments. Wouldn’t you think that the same should apply to personal property taxation?


Dave Goodridge