HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County has announced plans to slash this year’s personal property tax by over 50 cents, citing an unexpected surge in car prices that led to a multi-million dollar tax surplus.
County officials unveiled the proposal on May 6, detailing relief that grant residents a total reduction of 52 cents, reducing the annual personal property tax rate from $3.50 to $2.98.
Essentially, the county expected to collect about $107 million in personal property taxes, largely from car owners, based on car prices at the time the budget was made. But county officials said rapidly rising car prices, driven in part by supply chain issues, mean they now anticipate that if unchanged, the current tax rate would bring in an extra $20.4 million.
Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas said that’s the last thing they want.
“This is not the county’s money,” he said. “We did not anticipate it or budget it. It belongs to our taxpayers.”
To start off, county officials propose delaying the collection of the first round of payments from June 6 to Aug. 5. Then, they want to add a tax credit to the second round of payments, due Dec. 5, effectively reducing vehicle-owners bill by 52 cents per $100 of their car’s value.
The plan is enabled by a bipartisan law passed earlier this year, which allows counties to return surplus tax revenue to residents. The proposal will still need to be approved by the Board of Supervisors at their May 10 meeting.