Personal property taxes up by average of 25% in Charlottesville

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - People in Charlottesville are starting to get their personal property tax bills, and some are may be in for a shock.

Assessments skyrocketed this year. On average, Charlottesville Commissioner of Revenue Todd Divers says personal property is being assessed at 25% more than last year.

“We’re seeing vehicles that are up 60%,” Divers said Friday, April 29. “So those people are going to be pissed.”

Divers goes on to explain, “Due to the after effects and the lingering effects of COVID, vehicle prices are really, really high.”

Even with these high assessments, the tax rate has not changed: It is still $4.20 for every $100.

Divers says he talked with Charlottesville City Council on why it should lower the tax rate.

“We tried to get ahead of this, you know? I brought this stuff to council’s attention during the budget process, did a lengthy presentation on it and recommended that they reduced tax rate, and they elected not to now. That’s their prerogative,” Divers said.

Vice Mayor Juandiego Wade says councilors have to make a tough choice: “We had many needs - particularly with the schools - and we wanted to utilize those funds for that increase,” he said.

The vice mayor realizes some taxpayers may not agree: “We know that a lot of people will not be happy with it, but we believe that ultimately we did we did what’s best for the city,” Wade said.

Other localities, like Albemarle County, opted to lower personal property tax rate for 2022.

“We in the county decided that by reducing our personal property tax rate we could provide a bit of relief to almost every household in the county,” Albemarle Board of Supervisors Chair Donna Price said.

Bills have already been sent, so there is no way to reduce the current cost.

Divers has one piece of advice for anyone upset about paying more this year: “Pay more attention to the budget process, because, you know, that’s when these rates are set,” he said. “Once the bills land, it’s too late.”

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