Commissioner of the Revenue
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It is a great honor and pleasure to serve you!
FROM THE COMMISSIONER
Statement by Commissioner of the Revenue Douglas Mullins, Jr. regarding vehicle assessments. September 26, 2022
Virginia state code 58.1-3503 directs the local assessing officer to value vehicles at 100% of the current market value, utilizing a recognized pricing guide. Those laws are made by state delegates and state senators. The Virginia general assembly also creates laws determining the type of property that may be assessed for the purpose of taxation and outlines the appeals process afforded to each taxpayer who disagrees with their assessment. All of these laws are created by state government.
My office determines fair market value of taxable property based upon those state laws. To determine the fair market value of vehicles, Wise County has used the standardized national pricing guide JD Power (formerly NADA) for over 20 years. We apply the lowest value offered in JD Power…clean loan value. There are higher values offered…clean retail and MSRP. The Commissioner is given little discretion with these values as state law requires uniformity for its citizens. As there are exceptions to most laws, extenuating circumstances involving the vehicle, may offer some latitude for adjustments. Otherwise, our input in the valuation process is to follow the national pricing guide.
Local governing bodies are granted power to create tax rates by Virginia Code. Annual tax rates are applied to value assessments to determine final tax levies for taxable properties. Virginia law purposely delegates these two functions to different local offices in order to ensure checks and balances for its citizens.
“This is the first year we’ve ever seen a car market like this. Lack of new car supply has driven the used car market to off-the-chart levels…we all normally expect to see our vehicles depreciate in value.”
JD Power projected back in January that there would be an average 39% increase in 2022 on used vehicles due to current supply and demand market factors.
“I think most of us recognize that our used vehicle would bring a higher price this year than last year if we decided to sell it.” Because there is a shortage of new vehicles, dealerships are hungry to add cars and trucks to their fleet, driving prices to new record highs. Car owners are realizing as much as $6,000 of additional value this year. Scenarios like purchasing a new 2019 three years ago, driving it for three years and recouping nearly the entire purchase price is commonplace in this year’s market… unheard of pricing activity.
At the end of the day, fair market value is just that…the price that you could expect to get for your vehicle in the market currently. National car pricing guides, such as JD Power, gather and analyze massive amounts of sales data before offering final fair market values. My office assigns the value created by JD Power’s research as the county assessment. The tax amount you pay on your vehicle is determined by a second function, the current county tax rate, set by the governing body.
In its presentation at the annual Commissioner of the Revenue Conference this month, a JD Power representative projected one more year of abnormally high car values, followed by a slow recovery back to normal historic pricing in 2024.
- Information about your vehicle assessment for 2022… Values for used vehicles are determined by the recognized pricing guide JD Power (formerly NADA). My office has used this pricing guide for over 20 years. Your car assessment (value) is, and has always been, based upon the lowest value in the pricing guide (clean loan value).
JD Power Valuation Services 2022 Used Car Values Projection (January 2022) “ …We are expecting values for all vehicles up to eight years in age to climb as high as 46% in Jan 2022 compared to Jan 2021. Additionally, if you look at full year 2020 versus 2021, prices look like they will end the year 39% higher on a year-over-year basis.”
1. IF YOU FEEL YOUR VEHICLE IS NOT ASSESSED CORRECTLY, YOU MAY APPLY TO THE COMMISSIONER FOR CORRECTION OF THE ASSESSMENT PURSUANT TO VIRGINIA CODE SECTION 58.1-3980. IN ORDER TO DO SO, THE VEHICLE MUST BE APPRAISED BY ONE EXPERT (CAR DEALER, AUTO MECHANIC, OR INSURANCE APPRAISER.) YOU MUST PRESENT TO THE COMMISSIONER THE WRITTEN APPRAISAL OF THE VEHICLE.
2. THE COMMISSIONER WILL GLADLY ACCEPT AN APPRAISAL – IT MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- It must be on the letterhead of the appraiser.
- It must include the phone number, address and signature of the appraiser.
- The appraisal must state what the condition of the vehicle was on January 1 of the tax year for which the assessment is being questioned.
- The appraisal must specify what is particularly wrong with the vehicle which makes it worth less than the average loan value in the J.D. Power Appraisal Guide, i.e. extent of rust, extent of body damage, absence of engine, etc.
- The appraisal must list each item that was probably wrong with the vehicle on January 1 and the amount deducted from the average loan value of each item.
3. WE WILL BE GLAD TO EMAIL OR MAIL THE APPLICATION FOR CORRECTION OF ASSESSMENT. YOU CAN ALSO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL OF LOCAL MOBILE PROPERTY ONLINE. THIS FORM ALONG WITH THE APPRAISAL SHOULD BE RETURNED TO THE COMMISSIONER. THE COMMISSIONER WILL REVIEW THE APPRAISAL AND NOTIFY THE TAXPAYER IF AN ADJUSTMENT CAN BE MADE.
- The Virginia Department of Taxation link below will help taxpayers determine eligibility for this year’s income tax rebate. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. https://www.individual.tax.virginia.gov/IOP/#/rebate/rebateStatus
Responsibilities of the Commissioner of the Revenue
- Accurately maintaining and updating real estate and personal property records
- Ensuring the tax burden is fairly shared by all citizens
- Fair Market Value Assessment of all taxable property in Wise County
- Real Estate Tax Relief Assistance for Senior and Disabled citizens as well as 100% Service Connected Disabled Veterans
- State and Federal Income Tax Assistance