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Chesterfield County personal property taxes skyrocket as used car assessment values surge

If you live in Chesterfield County, you may have noticed a spike in personal property taxes, especially when it comes to your car.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If you live in Chesterfield County, you may have noticed a spike in personal property taxes, especially when it comes to your car.

Many residents called 12 On Your Side and voiced their confusion and frustration.

NBC12 spoke with some Chesterfield County residents who say their used cars, with hundreds of thousands of miles on them, are being valued at outrageous amounts. Many of the assessments are going up thousands of dollars from last year.

This doesn’t make sense to many folks. Shouldn’t your car become less valuable as it gets older?

Karl Brauer, the executive analyst with iSeeCars.com, says the opposite is happening right now.

“Used-car prices are up over 35% nationally. We’re talking $8,000-$9,000 dollars they’re up,” he said. “Right there in Richmond area, they’re up 37.4%. That’s like $8,300 compared to just one year ago and now the average used car in Richmond, Virginia costs over $30,000.”

The pandemic slammed the breaks on new vehicle production. As supply took a dip, demand went up; hence, raising the value of used cars.

“It’s just related to the supply chain issue, we just do not have enough pieces of computer equipment,” Brauer said. “It’s actually getting a little worse and it’s causing a lack of new car availability. When we don’t have new cars, you keep your current car, which causes a lack of used car availability.”

It isn’t just personal property taxes causing a headache for some folks. In Chesterfield, 2022 real estate assessments increased by an average of 12% countywide.

That’s three to four times higher than in a typical year.

Chesterfield has worked to provide more tax relief this year in light of that. However, residents say the sky-rocketing assessment values will make it more difficult to see the real impact of that relief.

Chesterfield has raised the threshold at which vehicles qualify for total exemption from personal property taxes from $1,000 to $1,500.

An additional 14,300 vehicles registered in the county are no longer subject to personal property taxes as a result of that action.

To appeal the assessment of your vehicle’s value, you can file that appeal online at the county’s website.

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