Potential action to help with the increase in vehicle personal property tax value was discussed at the July 11 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Commissioner of Revenue Cindy Kendrick said vehicle values have drastically increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. County values as of January 1 were ahead of the surge, but only saw a small increase in pick-up trucks values.
“Automobiles, we have 12,157, they went up $37 million in value from last year. Pick-up trucks, we have a little over 6,000 of those, they went up a little over $13 million. Motorcycles went up about half-a-million dollars,” she said.
Kendrick said the personal property increase on motor vehicles alone is more than a $50 million increase from last year.
“Also, not only are they going to pay more tax, (but) when the pot is larger, your PPTR (Personal Property Tax Relief Act) percentage has to be spread thinner,” she said.
Kendrick estimates there will be about a 10 percent reduction in PPTR credit. Last year, applicants received about 37 percent as a PPTR credit. Kendrick estimated this year’s will be 28 percent. “So, they’re going to be paying more there as well,” she said.
Kendrick said that almost all vehicles that were made after 2003 went up in value, with the biggest increase being those made within the last 10 years. “If you have a 2010 or newer then you’re seeing a really large increase,” she said.
“A lot of people who have pick-ups are going to pay $200 to $300 dollars more in personal property tax this year than they did last year, and a lot of those are the same ones that had a $60 to $70 increase last year,” she said, adding Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) owners can expect to pay around $200 more in personal property taxes.
Kendrick said other localities have had a variety of responses to the increase, with some deciding to waive the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) fee for one year and other deciding to make no changes. She noted that Patrick County’s VLF fee brings in around $450,000 annually.
“Some have adjusted their PPTR rate and just increased it, and given them that percentage and some people are only valuing it at 80 percent of the value instead of the value that we have,” she said.
Kendrick said Patrick is looking at an increase of around $850,000 in additional personal property revenue from the increase.
She said she called some other localities to see what they plan to do. Henry, Carroll, Floyd, and Franklin counties have discussed the issue, but not yet made a decision. The City of Danville plans to increase the percentage of its tax relief, from 35 percent to 65 percent
“We just got word this afternoon that Grayson County went ahead and sent it out like it was. It was so bad (that) now they’re going back in and giving 28 percent refunds and rebates to those people,” she said.
Kendrick said her department needs to know what action to take by the next supervisors meeting to ensure everything can be completed in time.
Clayton Kendrick, of the Mayo River District, said he does not feel good doing anything that will raise taxes on people.
“If we’re going to raise it on that, we need to lower it on the real estate or something else. It’s penalizing the people with the used cars that don’t have money to buy a newer model anyway, and they’ve got enough burden on them,” he said.
Clyde DeLoach, chairman and of the Blue Ridge District, said he would like to do something to help but believes the board needs to look at the options.
Treasurer Sandra Stone asked the board to stand by whatever decision it makes. “You’re probably going to get a lot of flak regardless of what you do,” she said.
Stone said some localities have said one thing and then issued refunds in the form of thousands of refund checks. “That gets really complicated and checks get lost in the mail, people don’t cash them if they’re a minimal amount, and they get turned over to unclaimed property,” she said.
In other matters, the board:
*Heard a broadband update from Economic Development Director Sean Adkins, who said the county received $700,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the Business Development Center. “It’s the full $700,000 asked,” he said.
The EDA previously received $500,000 from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission for the project.
“So, we’re hopeful that there’s one last thing maybe we can do to do the whole project in one fellow swoop. The fact that we got the maximum amount that we asked for both allows us to go after one final leg” of funding, he said.
*Heard from Carlie Smith, Business Manager of Air Life Virginia, about how the organization could help the county and its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and 911 Dispatchers, particularly with its auto launch feature.
“It’s something that your dispatchers can do when they hear a certain call come in. Any of those hot topic words that come through dispatch you can automatically put us on standby,” she said.
Smith said this gives Air Life more time to respond to the county’s dispatchers, EMS and potentially already be on the way depending on the severity of the call. “At the end of the day it is a no cost, efficient, and very effective way that lots of counties surrounding you already utilize to help have better patient outcomes,” she said.
Smith said Air Life can be used by downloading the program. She also offered to teach one or two classes to dispatchers. “Once they get the hang of it, it is very easy. It takes about five clicks once you type in the address and hit launch,” she said.
*Approved the meeting minutes.
*Approved the bills, claims, and appropriations.
*Scheduled a public hearing for Spectrum/Charter for Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
*Scheduled a budget hearing for Aug. 8.
*Approved the Department of Social Services (DSS) budget appropriations.
*Heard from Adkins about grants received for the Business Recovery Center.
*Discussed an in-house tax accessor position.
*Heard the Administrator’s report.
*Heard the Supervisors’ reports.
*Appointed Adkins to the Patrick & Henry Community Collee (P&HCC) Board.
*Heard from DeLoach, who said the board plans to have a booth at the Patrick County Agricultural Fair to allow people to meet their representatives.
Brandon Simmons, of the Dan River District, did not attend the meeting.
Many residents attended the July 11 Board of Supervisors meeting.
The Patrick County Board of Supervisors discussed options to help with the increase in vehicle personal property tax value.