Tax officials are warning Virginians they might owe more money in personal property taxes this year because their used cars might have increased in value during the pandemic.
"Their bills could be higher because some used vehicle values were higher than last year, which is really unusual," Loudoun County Commissioner of Revenue Bob Wertz said.
Wertz said the county did not increase the tax rate, but the higher value of vehicles could increase the amount owed.
Loudoun County's personal property taxes are due May 5 — earlier than other counties — but it will eventually impact all Virginians.
“This isn't something that's going to be unique to Loudoun County,” Wertz said. “Vehicles across the state are valued based on NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) used car guides, so other localities will see similar treatment."
The pandemic slammed the breaks on new vehicle production. Car rental companies were slowed, too, so instead of adding new vehicles into their fleet, they held onto their used vehicles.
Supply of used cars declined, demand went up, and value increased.
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For example, a 2021 Toyota Camry increased in value by more than $1,000. A 2019 Dodge Ram jumped by more than $3,600. And a 2015 Honda CR-V increased by more than $500.
Consumer Reports says now is the time to consider selling a used car.
“If you have a car that you are not using, this is probably one of the best times to get rid of it, because it's going to be worth more than ever," said Keith Barry of CR.
Loudoun County estimates people with increased car values can expect to pay an average of $25 more this year.
To appeal the assessment of a vehicle's value, Loudoun County asks residents to file that appeal online at the county's website.