Smithfield extends car tax deadline to Jan. 31

Published 10:07 am Thursday, January 5, 2023

Smithfield has again extended its car tax deadline, this time to Jan. 31.

The Town Council voted to make the change at its Jan. 3 meeting. According to Councilman Randy Pack, the delay is due to an issue with the town’s printer.

The town uses Lynchburg-based BMS Direct for its bill printing services, as does Isle of Wight County.

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According to Smithfield Treasurer Ellen Minga, BMS experienced an equipment malfunction that contributed to the delays.

“The Town has used BMS for years with minimal issues until this year,” Minga said in an email to The Smithfield Times.

The Times has reached out to BMS for comments on the delay.

Smithfield’s car tax bills had originally been due Dec. 5, but the deadline was previously extended in November to Dec. 31. Isle of Wight saw a similar delay in mailing its car tax bills in November but opted to leave the Dec. 5 payment deadline unchanged.

The county bills, once mailed, included a notice stating the delay in their arrival was “entirely a third-party production issue” and “not the fault of Isle of Wight County.”

Smithfield ended the 2021-22 fiscal year on June 30 with a $10.64 million general fund balance, according to an audit by the Blacksburg-based accounting firm Robinson Farmer Cox. The total amounts to more than 100% of the town’s $9.4 million budget for that year, and just under 97% of the roughly $11 million budgeted for the 2022-23 fiscal year, meaning the town shouldn’t experience any cash flow issues from the delay.

Smithfield, in June, lowered its car tax from last year’s rate of $1 per $100 to the current 87 cents to mirror a 13% car tax rate reduction Isle of Wight County had authorized in March to adjust for inflated vehicle values.

Surry County, in December, extended its car tax payment deadline to March 5, but had opted in June to leave its car tax rate at $4 per $100 despite seeing a similar rise in vehicle values.