Personal Property

Personal Property Assessment

The Commissioner of the Revenue is responsible for the assessment of all personal property with taxable status in Powhatan County. Virginia state law requires Commissioners of the Revenue to use a recognized pricing guide to assess vehicles for personal property tax. Powhatan County uses the January 1, Eastern Edition J.D. Power Official Used Car Guide and the January 1 J.D. Power Official Older Car Guide.  As of January 1, 2013, Powhatan County now prorates all Personal Property excluding Boats and Jet-skis.

These guides contain three values. Powhatan uses the "Clean Loan" value. Vehicles listed in the January 1,             J.D. Power official older used car guide, are valued using the "Clean Loan" value.

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 original cost as reported from Division of Motor Vehicles.

Appealing a Vehicle Assessment for Condition

The code of Virginia Section 58.1-3503 requires all localities to use a recognized pricing guide to value vehicles. The use of individual sales or trade-in offers as the basis for a vehicle's assessment is not permitted under state law. Code of Virginia 58.1-3515 requires localities to value property as of January 1.

An appeal can be filed if the condition of the vehicle is such that it has major structural and/or mechanical damage as of January 1. If you believe your assessment is in error due to the condition of the vehicle contact the office.

Personal Property Tax

Personal property tax is levied each calendar year on all motor vehicles, trailers, campers, mobile homes, boats, and airplanes with "situs" in the county. A vehicle has situs for taxation in the county, or if it is registered to a county address with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Personal property taxes are due June 5 and November 5.

Prorated Personal Property Tax

Vehicles that are moved into or out of the county after January 1 are prorated based on the number of months that the vehicle is/was located in Powhatan County.

Exceptions to the prorating standard

1. Vehicle is moved out to a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction; then the tax is not prorated.

2. Vehicle is moved in from a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction; then the vehicle is taxable in the prior jurisdiction for the entire year.

3. Vehicle is moved out of Virginia and is registered with the state where it is moved to. You must register the vehicle with the state where the vehicle is moved to. Failure to register will result in continued personal property tax liability with Powhatan County. The Virginia Code Section 58.1-3511-"the situs (meaning tax liability) for vehicles...registered in Virginia, but normally garaged, docked or parked in another state shall be taxed in the locality in Virginia where registered."

Items Subject to the Personal Property Tax






◦mobile homes

business personal property-such as furniture and fixtures, computers and construction equipment

 Tax Day

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 Powhatan County.

The commissioner of the revenue's duty is to ensure fair, equitable and uniform assessments. If you believe that an assessment is incorrect, please contact my office.

Car Tax Relief

Personal property tax relief is provided for any passenger car, motorcycle, or pickup or panel truck having a registered gross weight of less than 10,001 pounds on January 1. The vehicle must be owned or leased by an individual and be used 50 percent or less for business purposes. A vehicle is considered to be used for business purposes if:

◦More than 50 percent of the depreciation associated with the vehicle is deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax

◦More that 50 percent of the mileage for the year is used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes OR reimbursed by an employer

◦The cost of the vehicle expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code

◦The vehicle is leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual

Vehicles qualified for tax relief are noted on your tax bill and show a reduction for the portion of the tax the commonwealth will pay. For qualified vehicles, your tax bill is reduced by the applicable tax relief percentage for the tax year on the first $20,000 of value. Powhatan County will be reimbursed by the commonwealth for the amount of the reduction once you have paid the balance due shown on your bill. If your vehicle is improperly qualified or you are uncertain whether your vehicle would be eligible for car tax relief because it is used part of the time for business purposes, contact the Powhatan County Commissioner of the Revenue at  (804) 598-5616.