Personal Property Tax Information 

 

Personal Property Tax Bills

To see the amount of taxes owned and to make payments - use the County's online payment system eXpress Tax

eXpress Tax

Online Personal Property Reporting and Payment System. 
  • View your personal property tax balance and payment history
  • Make a payment (free payment service)
  • Register vehicles with the County
  • Report vehicle statues - sold, purchased, disposed, or transferred
  • Report that you have moved

 

What is the Personal Property Tax?

Personal property tax (also known as a car tax) is a tax on tangible property - i.e., property that can be touched and moved, such as a car or piece of equipment. It is an "ad valorem" tax, meaning the tax amount is set according to the value of the property. A higher-valued property pays more tax than a lower-valued property. 
 
Although jurisdictions throughout Virginia levy a personal property tax, many U.S. states do not; as a result, some County residents may not be aware that a tax on personal property exists. 
 
Revenue collected from the personal property tax is used to fund general County services like police and fire protection and other services such as parks, libraries, and education.
 
 
Items Subject to the Personal Property Tax

Prince William County's personal property tax is assessed annually, as of January 1, for the following:
  • automobiles

    Personal property tax applies to any vehicle normally garaged or parked in Prince William County - even if the vehicle is registered in another state or county.

    Virginia law makes vehicles with an active Virginia registration taxable in the municipality where the vehicle is registered - even if the vehicle is garaged or parked in another state.

  • trucks
  • motorcycles
  • trailers
  • mobile homes
  • business personal property - such as furniture and fixtures, computers, and construction equipment

All other property, including personal effects, household items, monies, securities, and livestock are not subject to the personal property tax.  

The County maintains registration information on boats, personal watercraft, outboard motor watercraft, and boat trailers,   although the tax on these items was eliminated beginning in 1998.
 
 
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 the County.
 
Exceptions to the prorating standard 
  1. Vehicle is moved out to a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction; then the tax is not prorated.
  2.  
  3. Vehicle is moved in from a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction; then the vehicle is taxable in the prior jurisdiction for the entire year.
  4.  
  5. Vehicle is moved out of Virginia and is registered with the state where it is moved to.
* Moving a vehicle out of Virginia? 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 Prince William 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 the locality in Virginia where registered'.
 

Local Vehicle License Fees

A local vehicle license fee is imposed on vehicles normally garaged, stored, or parked in the County. The license fees is collected as general fund revenues which are budgeted and appropriated by the Board of County Supervisors.  The County license fees does not apply to town residents or to vehicles garaged at Marine Corps Base Quantico. Residents of the towns should register their vehicles with both Prince William County and their  respective town clerk or tax office.

 
Payment Due Date

Personal property tax bills are mailed late summer with payment due October 5 (unless this date falls on a weekend or holiday then the due date is moved to the next business day).  A prorated tax bill is applied to vehicles that move into the County after June 30. 
 
Assessment

Virginia law requires localities to use a nationally recognized pricing guide as the basis for the assessment of vehicles; Prince William County contracts with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). Approximately 95% of all vehicles in the County can be assessed using the NADA car value guide. The values used by NADA are based on actual transactions and wholesale auctions of vehicles throughout the area for which the guide is published. Most Virginia jurisdictions use NADA. 
 
Vehicles are assessed using the January NADA clean trade-in value for automobiles, trucks, and vans. Newer vehicles not listed in the January NADA guide are assessed at 90% or 95% of the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) depending on model year.
 
Annual Asset Statement

In the spring of each year, owners of personal property will receive an asset summary statement. Any errors or omissions found in the statement should be reported to the County. If the statement is correct no action is needed.   
   
Appealing a Vehicle Assessment for High Mileage

To appeal, send a copy of your last oil change invoice or your state inspection receipt along with a copy of your state registration to Prince William County, P.O. Box 2467, Prince William, Virginia 22195-2467. Write "Hi-mileage" in the lower left corner of the envelope. Please do not send this information along with payment or in the envelope included with the tax bill. These adjustments will take time to process. You must pay your personal property tax in full and be refunded the difference.  The deduction for high mileage can not exceed 40% of the trade-in value for that model year. 
 
Minimum Mileage for High Mileage Adjustments
  

To qualify, the vehicle mileage as of January 1, 2014, must be  

  • 2014 model year vehicle  - 10,001 miles or more
  • 2013 model year vehicle  - 20,001 miles or more
  • 2012 model year vehicle  - 35,001 miles or more
  • 2011 model year vehicle  - 45,001 miles or more
  • 2010 model year vehicle  - 60,001 miles or more
  • 2009 model year vehicle  - 70,001 miles or more
  • 2008 model year vehicle  - 85,001 miles or more
  • 2007 model year vehicle  - 95,001 miles or more
  • 2006 model year vehicle  - 105,001 miles or more
  • 2005 model year vehicle  - 120,001 miles or more
  • 2004 model year vehicle  - 130,001 miles or more
  • 2003 model year vehicle  - 140,001 miles or more
  • 2002 model year vehicle  - 150,001 miles or more
  • 2001 model year vehicle  - 155,001 miles or more
  • 2000 & older model year vehicles  - 165,001 miles or more
  
Appealing a Vehicle Assessment for Condition
 
The Code of Va. 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 Va. 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/mechanical damage as of January 1. If you believe your assessment is in error due to the condition of the vehicle, use the form below to file an appeal.  Form Appeal of Vehicle Assessment
 
State Tax Relief (Car Tax)

Information about the impact of the Personal Property Tax Relief Act on County residents is located on the County webpage Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA).
 
Summary information is also available at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
 
New Residents
 
If you move to Prince William County from another Virginia jurisdiction please report your change of address to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) 804-497-7100 and then call the County at 703-792-6710.  New residents must report within 60 days of moving to the County to avoid being assessed a late filing penalty. You should inform the County of your move even if current license fees are paid and the vehicle has a valid decal.  
 
If you have recently moved from another state, please register with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), then call the County at 703-792-6710. New residents must report within 60 days of moving to the County to avoid being assessed a late filing penalty.
 

Military Personnel Exemptions

Active duty and retired military personnel may be eligible for personal property tax relief. Visit the Military Personnel Exemption page for more information.