How Do I


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.)

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

f 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 corroborate a taxpayer's claim or appeal.

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.

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.


Brownfields are usually concentrated in urban areas, but they can really be anywhere. They are typically abandoned or underutilized commercial or industrial sites, such as manufacturing facilities, warehouses, gas stations, machine shops, and dry cleaning facilities, but they can even include residential properties where, at some point, hazardous substances might have been used.

View Representative Site Photos

Maybe.  Ask yourself this:  Is my land or property idle, vacant, or less productive than it ought to be? Are there concerns about environmental contamination contributing to that problem?

If you answered yes to both questions, then you might own a brownfield.

Many brownfield sites are located in unattractive, economically depressed parts of a neighborhood. Cleanup and redevelopment of these sites encourages higher property values and creates jobs, in addition to creating a safer, cleaner, healthier space to house businesses and/or residences.

Private and public organizations play a role in assessing, cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield sites.  Key players include state and federal environmental agencies, economic development and planning agencies, citizen and community groups, commercial lenders, technical consultants, legal counsel, local government agencies, developers, investors, and real estate professionals.

Yes. In addition to direct financial assistance, federal, state and local tax incentives are available to property owners and developers to help reduce the costs of brownfield projects. Federal tax incentives include   the Taxpayers Relief Act, which allows eligible taxpayers to deduct qualified cleanup expenses at brownfields in the year expenses are incurred, and rehabilitation income tax credits for 10% of the expenses of rehabilitating structures built before 1936.

Many factors affect the cost of cleanup. For example, if groundwater under the site is contaminated in     addition to soil, the cost of cleanup is likely to be much higher. If the contaminated materials need to be transported off site for treatment, that will also raise the cost. The cost will also depend on standards that apply to the future use of the property.  If a brownfield property is remediated to commercial use standards rather than residential use standards, the cleanup will typically be less expensive. The cost to the property owner of the cleanup will also be affected by whether there are other parties, such as previous owners, who may be potentially responsible for contamination and, thus, must share in cleanup costs.

Cleanup will vary according to the level, type, amount, and extent of contamination, as well as cleanup standards that apply to the site.  A site with extensive soil or groundwater contamination cleaned up to residential standards will take   longer than a site with minimal contamination that will be used for industrial purposes. Factors like time of year or unusually bad weather may also affect duration of cleanup.

Funding was needed to provide resources necessary to continue the City’s ongoing commitment to transforming the community from its former heavy manufacturing and industrial economy to a vibrant commercial and service economy. Clean up and revitalization are seen as a tremendous opportunity to increase nearby residential and commercial   property values.

The City’s Brownfields Redevelopment Advisory Group (Martinsville BRAG) assists City staff in evaluating and selecting properties based on the following criteria:

  • Impact on public health, the environment, and wildlife habitats;
  • Proximity to municipal or private water sources, residential areas, and schools;
  • Potential reuse of the site for open/green space and/or recreation;
  • Degree to which the site furthers objectives for revitalizing the community.

Police Department FAQ

To contact a particular officer, call 276-403-5300 during business hours. After hours, contact the communications center (9-1-1). If the officer is not currently working, they will get back to you as soon as they return.

Animal Control

Contact the health department or the animal control office. If you have been exposed the bat then a Health exposure report will need to be filed and the bat will need to be captured for analysis. If you feel that you have bats in a non common area Ex: attic, roof, etc. then you will need to contact an exterminator or wildlife removal service.

Wildlife is a common issue when living in more rural areas. We strongly advise to no leave food out for wildlife. Also, if you have outdoor companion animals we suggest to make adjustments so that wildlife does not have access to their food. There are wildlife removal services that can trap the animals and remove them from your property. However, Animal Control Division is not sanctioned to removed nuisance animals with in the City of Martinsville. If the animal poses an immediate threat to you or your companion animals you can contact Animal Control during Business hours or the Police Department after hours and an officer will come to assist in the immediate threat. 

Contact the Animal Control through the non-emergency communications number so that an officer can be dispatched to assist. 

Contact the animal control office. If no one answers leave a detailed message and an officer will return your call as soon as possible. Inform your neighbors and utilize social media to help locate your missing animal.  The Shelter is open Monday-Friday and allows the public to come see the animals to see if your companion is located at the shelter. 

The Martinsville City Animal Control and Shelter strives to help citizens with their companion animals. We have many resources that can help you with your animals. The preferred option is for owners to find a home for their companion animals. A Last resort is surrendering the animal to the shelter. If this is your option please contact the Animal Control office and the officer will walk you through the steps of how to turn the animal over. 

At the Martinsville Animal Shelter, we partner with the Martinsville Henry County SPCA. The SPCA handles our adoptions and all applications and fees are turned into the SPCA. The animal control Office has copies of the applications and a digital from can be found at http://www.spcamhc.org/adoption.

Hunting in Martinsville City is regulated by the Department Wildlife Resources. Martinsville City only allows Urban Archery you may not discharge a firearm with in the City limits. Hunters must obtain written permission from the property owner. No firearms other than a bow and arrow may be in the hunter’s possession. Discharge of an arrow is permitted only in order to take a deer. No discharge of an arrow shall be made toward any person, any animal other than a deer, any structure or any vehicle in such a manner as the arrow may strike such person, animal, structure or vehicle, nor shall a discharge be made in such a manner that the arrow may strike in any roadway. Archery equipment can only be discharged from temporary platforms elevated at least seven feet above the ground. Any disabled hunter unable to hunt from such a platform must comply with all regulations established by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. No pursuit of an injured or wounded deer shall be permitted upon the land of neighboring landowners unless the hunter has first obtained permission from that landowner. No field dressing of deer shall be permitted without the permission of the landowner. Any other questions regarding hunting can be directed to the Department of Wildlife Resources.