Personal Property Tax

Definition

Virginia state code Section 58.1-3503 defines personal property as:

  • Aircraft
  • Automobiles
  • Boats
  • Manufactured homes
  • Motorcycles
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Trailers
  • Trucks

All personal property normally garaged in the city is subject to personal property taxes. Vehicles classified as an antique or vintage with permanent license plates issued as specified in Virginia State Code Section §46.2-730 are not subject to taxation.

Addresses

The Williamsburg mailing address encompasses three localities:

  • City of Williamsburg
  • James City County
  • York County

You may need to check the city street listing to see if your residence is/will be located within the city limits.

Rates

  • General rate is $3.50 per $100 of National Automobile Dealers Association average loan value or a percentage of cost
  • Tax bills are due on or before December 1st of each year
  • Taxes are assessed on personal property as of January 1st of each year

Personal Property Tax Relief Act

Personal property tax bills are due on or before December 1st of each year. The tax on the first $20,000 of value of your certified personal qualifying vehicle (car, motorcycle, pickup or panel truck under 7,501 pounds) is reduced by a percentage determined annually by City Council. This tax relief represents your portion of an annual block grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia. For qualifying vehicles valued at $1,000 or less, the obligation to pay this tax has been eliminated.

Special Assessments & Exceptions

Specially Equipped Motor Vehicles

Specially equipped motor vehicles used to provide transportation for handicapped individuals licensed with handicapped plates are exempted from personal property taxes. Documentation identifying the vehicle and the type of special equipment that has been installed must accompany the application. 

Disabled Veterans

At the August 9, 2018 City Council meeting, Ordinance Number 18-06 was proposed to Article II of Chapter 18 of the Williamsburg code in order to add a new section 18-30 to exempt one motor vehicle owned and used by any disabled veteran of the United States Armed Forces from personal property taxation. 

To qualify for this relief, you must meet the following definition of “disabled veteran” - any veteran of the United States Armed Forces who has either lost, or lost the use of, one or both legs, arms or hands, or who is blind, or who is permanently and totally disabled as certified by the Department of Veterans' Services. You will need to submit Personal Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans form (PDF), along with the required documentation. 

If you believe you may qualify for the Disabled Veteran personal property tax relief, please contact our office before remitting payment of your bill.

Military Spouse

Pursuant to the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), as amended by the Veterans Benefits and Transitions Act (VBTA), effective January 1, 2019, the spouse of an active duty servicemember may elect legal residence in another state, based on spouse's active military status. To claim this exemption, you will need to complete the Military Spouse Residency Affidavit for Tax Exemption (PDF), and submit with the required documentation.

In order to provide this relief, you will need to provide a written statement from the Department of Veterans' Services indicating that you have been designated or classified as “disabled veteran” per the definition above and that your disability is service connected.