All News & Blogs
Personal-property tax rate will increase for some residents
Date published: 4/26/2012
Spotsylvania County resident Mac Smith is among a growing number of people in the Fredericksburg area to buy a new car in recent months.
He purchased a 2012 Acura MDX in November, six months before the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors voted to increase the personal-property tax rate by 11 cents.
But Smith said he's not worried about the new car-tax rate of $6.37 per $100 of assessed value. It will add less than $30 to his personal-property tax payments of more than $1,000.
"Such a small increase doesn't present a problem," Smith said. "Those types of fees I tend to consider a reinvestment into the community."
He does, however, say he thinks it's silly that the new majority on the Board of Supervisors--who campaigned on a platform of low taxes--talked extensively about cutting the real-estate tax rate, only to quietly raise the personal-property levy.
For some residents, particularly those who bought new cars, raising the personal-property tax rate could nullify the effect of the real-estate tax decrease, he said.
"From my perspective, that's just politicians being politicians," said Smith, a member of the Committee of 500 and a member last year of the Spotsylvania Democratic Committee. "You kind of get an eye roll as a taxpayer."
Supervisors Ann Heidig and Paul Trampe, who are among the conservative majority, stress that personal-property taxes will decrease for 75 percent of residents who have had the same cars since January 2011. The rest will see increases of a penny to no more than $50 when the bills arrive in May and November.
Heidig and Trampe also noted that the supervisors significantly decreased the advertised personal-property tax rate of $6.65.
"That was part of our goal to try to keep the tax burden as low as possible for the citizens of Spotsylvania County," Heidig said.
Revenue from the 11-cent personal-property tax rate increase will cover county employees' contributions to their retirement plans, and offset lowering the county's Business, Professional and Occupational License tax and declining car values.
Trampe said he wanted to "spread the tax relief between the real-estate rate, personal property and BPOL."