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Local Vehicle License Fee

Local Vehicle License Fee
In light of questions and concerns expressed by several Brunswick County citizens, we would like to clarify Chapter 58, Article II of the Code of the County of Brunswick, Virginia, which references the Local Vehicle License Fee. The Board of Supervisors revised the ordinance in April 2018 in an effort to rid of the purchase of a decal (sticker) for each licensed vehicle registered in Brunswick County, and simply assess the license fee. According to the ordinance, this fee would be collected as part of the annual tax collection process and would be charged on the annual bill of each taxpayer, which are disseminated in October of each year (due December 5th).

There have been questions and concerns as to the assessment of the fee – why the fee is being charged on a vehicle that is no longer owned or why the fee is being charged twice in the same calendar year. To those questions, here are a few clarifications:

As stated in the new ordinance, the fee is now assessed along with personal property taxes on January 1st of each year and there is no proration of the fee. This means that, along with personal property taxes, the fee is assessed on property owned on January 1st. If the taxpayer happens to dispose of a vehicle on January 2nd or later, they will still owe both taxes and the license fee in December. On the same note, if they happen to purchase a new vehicle on January 2nd or later, they will not owe taxes or the license fee the following December. There has to be a point of assessment of each vehicle, and in an effort to be effective and efficient in all County offices, it should fall in line with the assessment of personal property for tax purposes (or January 1st).

Also, the County operates on a fiscal year, which begins in July of each year and ends in June of the following year, and not a calendar year (January through December). Therefore:

• When a citizen purchased a decal (sticker) in January or February of 2018, this purchase was associated with the payment of 2017 taxes. As a requirement to purchase a decal, each citizen must have paid their 2017 personal property taxes in full in order to receive a decal. Both the 2017 taxes and the 2018 decals represent collections for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 2017 through June 2018).
• The current vehicle license fee, due December 5th, is then associated with the payment of 2018 personal property taxes, except the fee is now assessed and collected as part of the tax collection process. Both the taxes and the license fee represent collections for Fiscal Year 2019 (July 2018 through June 2019).

Simply stated, this is a transition year – a transition from one collection method and collection period to another. In future years, personal property taxes and the license fee will be assessed once on property owned on January 1st, and collected in December of each year.