The Commissioner of the Revenue is responsible for the assessment of all personal property with taxable status in Virginia Beach.
The Code of Virginia §58.1.3503, provides for the categories of property and the methods of assessment available to commissioners.
The Personal Property Taxpayers division assesses all vehicles including cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, motor homes, aircraft and watercraft. Mobile homes on temporary foundations are also assessed as personal property.
Personal property is taxable in the locality where it is normally garaged, docked or parked. Vehicles with a weight of 10,000 pounds or less registered in VA but normally garaged, docked or parked in another state shall be taxed in the VA locality where the vehicle is registered (Code of Virginia §58.1-3511).
If it cannot be determined where your vehicle is normally garaged, stored or parked, the situs (the location of the property for assessment and taxation purposes) shall be the domicile of the owner.
The assessed value of a vehicle is based on the loan value from the January J.D. Power Official Used Car Guide (formerly NADA) book. The tax rate is $4 per $100 of the assessed value. For an estimate of the tax on your vehicle, contact the Personal Property division of the Commissioner's Office.
§58.1-3503 of the Code of Virginia also enables commissioners to consider the conditions of taxable property, upon request of the taxpayer. Taxpayers may easily appeal their assessments. Please see the Assessment Appeals page for more information.
Personal Property Tax Relief
The Virginia General Assembly passed the Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) in 1998. Code of Virginia §58.1-3523 et. seq. provides relief of personal property taxes.
Three requirements must be met to qualify for tax relief. The vehicle must be:
- A passenger car, pickup or panel truck, or a motorcycle.
- Owned by a natural person or leased by a natural person under a contract requiring such person to pay the personal property tax.
- Used for non-business purposes.
Definitions of motor vehicles qualifying for tax relief:
- PASSENGER CAR - Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle designed and used primarily for the transportation of no more than 10 persons, including the driver.
- PICKUP OR PANEL TRUCK - Every motor vehicle registered for personal use, designed to transport property on its own structure independent of any other vehicle, and having a registered gross weight in excess of 7,500 pounds but not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- MOTORCYCLE - Every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, except any vehicle included with the term "farm tractor" or "moped" as defined in Code of Virginia §46.2-100.
A vehicle is considered 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 purposes.
- The cost of the vehicle is expensed pursuant to § 179 of the Internal Revenue Code OR The vehicle is leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual.
Since 2006, the Commonwealth has and continues to appropriate $950 million each tax year to reimburse localities statewide. Virginia Beach City Council sets the tax relief each year. Tax bills are reduced by Virginia Beach's expected reimbursement under the Personal Property Tax Relief Act from the Commonwealth, for qualified vehicles based on the first $20,000 of value.
The most recent tax relief rates are as follows:
- 2024 - 44.6%
- 2023 - 49.6%
- 2022 - 50.8%
- 2021 - 46.8%
- 2020 - 50.1%
- 2019 - 50.3%
- 2018 - 51.1%
- 2017 - 52.1%
- 2016 - 52.5%
If a qualifying vehicle's assessed value is $1,000 or less, the tax is eliminated and the Commonwealth's share is 100%. Tax relief is calculated using the City of Virginia Beach effective tax rate in effect on Aug. 1, 1997.
The City of Virginia Beach is required to certify and verify a vehicle remains qualified to receive car tax relief annually. It is important that information detailed on tax bills and personal property tax returns is thoroughly reviewed to ensure vehicles are properly qualified.
If a vehicle is improperly qualified or it is uncertain whether a vehicle is eligible for car tax relief because of its part-time use for business purposes, contact the Personal Property Taxpayers division of the Commissioner of the Revenue. A personal property tax payment submitted to the City of Virginia Beach is considered an acknowledgment that the vehicle has been qualified correctly.