The Commissioner of Revenue administers the tangible personal property tax and the personal property tax relief. Each year the Commissioner mails to each city taxpayer around mid-February a tangible personal property return form listing the individual's personal property owned as of January 1 of the taxable year.
The individual taxpayer must verify that the information on the form is correct, fully complete the filing form and return it to the Commissioner's office by May 2nd in order to avoid a late filing penalty and to possibly qualify for personal property tax relief.
If you fail to receive a tangible personal property tax form you may download a blank form below. Please list ALL vehicles including trailers, boats, motorcycles that you own and garage in the City of Martinsville.
Registering Your Vehicle
All residents owning personal property in the City of Martinsville are required to register their vehicles with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Commissioner of the Revenue within 60 days of any of the following:
- Moving a vehicle (including trailers) into the City of Martinsville
- Moving a boat (contact the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries) into the City of Martinsville
- Sale or disposal of an old vehicle
- Change in name and/or address
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is generally considered personal property for taxation purposes?
Automobiles, trucks, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, boats, airplanes, mobile homes, and business furniture, fixtures and equipment are examples of tangible personal property. Machinery and tools used in the manufacturing process are considered to be personal property, but are taxed at a different rate ($1.85 per $100 of assessed value.)
Q. How is the amount of tax to be levied on personal property determined?
The Martinsville City Council establishes a personal property tax rate each year in June. The actual tax is then computed by multiplying the property's assessed value by this rate. The current rate for general personal property is $2.30 per $100 of assessed value of property. The current rate for machinery and tools is $1.85 per $100 of assessed value.
The Commonwealth of Virginia provides the City of Martinsville with $626,428 annually to disburse as Car Tax Relief to individuals with qualifying vehicles. If you have a qualifying vehicle your tax assessment will be reduced by the annually calculated relief percentage. The relief percentage will vary annually depending on how many vehicles qualify for relief, the total amount of the assessments of these vehicles, the total number of vehicles assessed at $1000 or less, and the total assessment amount of vehicles with assessed values between $1,001 and $20,000.
The calculated percentage rate for relief for tax year 2015 is 53.8% for qualifying vehicles (see requirements below) with assessed values between $1,001 and $20,000.
Q. Does the City of Martinsville prorate personal property taxes for property sold, transferred, or disposed of during the year?
No. Any personal property owned on January 1 is taxed for the entire calendar year.
Q. If I move out of Martinsville during the tax year or sell my motor vehicle during the tax year, am I responsible for paying taxes for the full year?
Yes. Martinsville is not a prorating locality and any motor vehicle owned on January 1 is taxed for the entire year. However, if you moved from Martinsville prior to January 1 and you were taxed, you must submit documented proof that you were a domiciled resident of another locality or state on January 1 of the taxable year before any abatement of taxes can be done.
Q. What is the Personal Property Tax Relief Act?
The Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998 provides tax relief for passenger cars, motorcycles, and pickup or panel trucks having a registered gross weight of less than 7,501 pounds. To qualify, a vehicle must:
- Be owned by an individual or leased by an individual under a contract requiring the individual to pay the personal property tax; AND
- Be used less than 50 percent for business purposes.
In addition, you must file and sign your blue tangible personal property form annually and return it to the Commissioner of the Revenue office by May 1st.
Q. Does my vehicle qualify for Car Tax Relief?
If you can answer YES to any of the following questions, your motor vehicle is considered by State Law to have a business use and does NOT qualify for Car Tax Relief:
- Is more than 50 percent of the mileage for the year used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes OR reimbursed by an employer?
- Is more than 50 percent of the depreciation associated with the vehicle deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes?
- Is the cost of the vehicle expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code?
- Is the vehicle leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual?
Q. How is personal property assessed?
The Commissioner of the Revenue is generally required to determine the assessed value of motor vehicles based on a recognized pricing guide, if available, or a percentage of original cost. The pricing publications used are the National Automobile Dealers Association (N.A.D.A.) official used car guide and the official older car guide. The value taken from these books is the average loan value. If the vehicle is not listed in the guide, the value will be assessed on a percentage of the purchase price or a percentage of the prior year's assessment.
Q. How do I appeal the assessed value of my vehicle?
If you feel your vehicle has been over assessed you can appeal the assessment. To appeal the assessment, you must bring the vehicle to the City Municipal Building so that the Commissioner can view the vehicle. If the vehicle is inoperable, you may schedule an appointment for the Commissioner to view it. To show that the vehicle's value is less than the average loan value established in the N.A.D.A. official used car guide please provide any of the following:
- An independent appraisal from a reputable shop or repair facility.
- A police report for incident causing damage.
- A description of specific conditions that make your vehicle's value less than the average loan value listed in the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) guide. (For example body damage and missing engine.)
- A service receipt dated within three (3) weeks of January 1st showing the vehicle mileage for a high mileage deduction. (To receive a high mileage deduction, you must provide mileage proof annually.)
The Commissioner of the Revenue may require additional information necessary to collaborate a taxpayer's claim or appeal.
Q. If my vehicle is unused or unregistered at DMV, do I still need to register with the Commissioner's office and pay personal property taxes?
Yes, all personal property is taxable, even unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicles. This property must be listed on your vehicle verification form and filed on or before May 1st each year for as long as you own it. However, you may appeal your assessment if the reason that the vehicle is unused and unregistered is the condition of the vehicle.
Q. Where may local tax returns be filed?
Personal property tax returns may be filed by mail to: Commissioner of the Revenue, P.O. Box 1222, Martinsville, VA 24114-1222, or in person at 55 W. Church Street in the office of the Commissioner of the Revenue. The office is located on the first floor of the Municipal Building in Room 101.