Personal Property Assessment
Personal Property Assessment
The Commissioner of the Revenue, Robert S. Wertz, Jr. is responsible for the assessment of all personal property with taxable status in Loudoun County. Virginia state law requires Commissioners of the Revenue to use a recognized pricing guide to assess vehicles for personal property tax. Loudoun County, as well as all Virginia localities, uses the January 1, Eastern Edition of J.D. Power’s N.A.D.A. (National Automobile Dealers Association) Official Used Car Guide and the January 1, National Edition N.A.D.A. Official Older Car Guide for routine valuation purposes. These guides contain six values. Loudoun uses the "Clean Loan" value, taking into consideration four-wheel drive, special engine, and/or tandem/single axle configurations. Vehicles listed in the January 1, National Edition N.A.D.A. Classic, Collectible, Exotic and Muscle Car Appraisal Guide and Directory are valued using the low retail value, the lowest of three values listed in the guide.
For tax year 2023, the Commissioner of the Revenue recommended the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors agree to his use of an assessment ratio to reduce the taxable basis of vehicles that continue to be elevated due to the lingering supply chain issues and ongoing limitations on the availability of new and used vehicles for sale. The value of most vehicles remains significantly elevated when compared to pre-pandemic levels. While vehicles normally depreciate, market forces have resulted in substantial increases in values which typically translate into increased car tax bills. While many taxpayers will see their tax bills go down, others may rise. By applying the 95 percent ratio, most taxpayers will be spared the full impact of these increases.
Regulations permit local assessing officials to apply a ratio to assessment values if the governing body concurs. The authority to assess only a percentage of value has been used once in the county during tax year 2022. However, given the continued elevated values for used cars, Commissioner Wertz felt taxpayers should be spared the burden of an automatic increase in their tax bills because of abnormal outside market forces.
Vehicles Not Listed in the Pricing Guide
If the model and year of a vehicle is not listed in the recognized pricing guide, the law permits the vehicle to be valued on the basis of percentage of original cost, to reflect fair market value. To ensure uniformity in valuation for vehicles of the same make and model, the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue uses the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) as original cost. Prior model year vehicles not listed in the guide are assessed at 75% of the MSRP. Current model year vehicles not listed in the guide are assessed at 90% of the MSRP as listed in the New Car Cost Guide. MSRP includes the base price for the vehicle trim level, the cost of any options, packages, or extras the vehicle is equipped with.
Subsequent model year vehicles not listed in the guide are assessed at 100% of cost as reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Vehicles 20 to 24 years of age, which are not listed in the January 1, J.D. Power's N.A.D.A. Official Older Car Guide, are assessed at 90% of the prior year's assessment. Due to the difficult nature of determining the condition of vehicles 25 years or older, such vehicles are assessed at $100.
All trucks with a gross weight over 2 tons, motorcycles, campers, trailers, boats and motor homes are assessed based on percentage of cost.
Loudoun uses the Average Mid value published in the Wingate Appraisal Service Virginia Manufactured Housing Appraisal Guide for assessing mobile homes.
The average wholesale value listed in the Winter Edition Aircraft Bluebook Price Digest is used for assessing aircraft.
In addition to requiring valuation based on a pricing guide or cost, the Code of Virginia requires that the value of tangible personal property be fixed as of "tax day," which is January 1, regardless of when the property is purchased or located in Loudoun County.
Commissioner of the Revenue's Responsibilities
The Commissioner of the Revenue's duty is to ensure fair, equitable and uniform assessments. If you believe that an assessment is incorrect, please complete an assessment appeal form (PDF) and submit it along with supporting documentation to my office. While every effort is made to establish correct assessments, taxpayers who believe they have been incorrectly assessed are entitled to file a petition for correction in Loudoun County Circuit Court.