Local revenue commissioners warn of potential tax hike

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Tax Commissioner Phil Kellam is warning that residents of Virginia Beach could see a significant increase in their personal property tax bills this year if the city council doesn’t take action.

This week, Kellam says he received an appraisal report on vehicle values, showing values ​​increased by more than 40%. The higher the value of a person’s vehicle, the more taxes they have to pay.

Kellam believes the increase is due to COVID-related issues, which are causing vehicle values ​​to skyrocket. Microchip shortages have led to delays in the production of new cars by automakers, which has driven up prices.

“In my view, the current market is skewed and the values ​​we observe do not reflect an equal and healthy market between willing buyer and willing seller,” Kellam said in a statement.

He spoke to city council on Tuesday and presented three options: do nothing, lower the property tax rate for this year or establish a ratio between assessments and lower tax bills.

He hopes city council members will provide him with guidelines by mid-March.

Virginia Beach isn’t the only city that could see increases. In a phone conversation, Hampton Revenue Commissioner Ross Mugler said every locality in the region would likely see a tax increase of 26 to 42 percent, with Hampton at the high end of that increase.

According to Mugler, the three options to help mitigate the increases are to change the tax rate, reduce the tax rate or pass a bill in the General Assembly to send refunds to taxpayers. Hampton is leaning towards reducing the valuation ratio.

Portsmouth Tax Commissioner Franklin Edmondson said the projected increase in vehicle ownership in the city is around 35%, but that number could be higher or lower. Portsmouth will hold property tax appeals on Saturday May 14.

Chesapeake Tax Commissioner Victoria Proffitt told News 3’s Brendan Ponton that Chesapeake is seeing an average increase of 28%. Proffitt is set to propose a one-time rate reduction to the city council.

News 3 has contacted the revenue commissioners of all Hampton Roads towns. This story will be updated as we receive statements.

Comments are closed.