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.