Buckingham County gives residents extra time to pay some taxes

Published 4:27 am Friday, November 18, 2022

DILLWYN – Buckingham County residents will have an extra month to pay off this year’s personal property taxes. By a unanimous vote on Tuesday, Nov. 15, the board of supervisors adopted a one-time change to the rules. 

“Because of inflation, because of the skyrocketing cost of automobiles, because of the high assessments, (let’s) push back the due date for personal property,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jordan Miles said. “(Let’s) give people a little more time to pay. An extra month, a little bit after Christmas.” 

The chairman can’t vote or make a motion, so Miles just outlined his proposal. He suggested the county push back the due date for personal property taxes by one month. Those are typically due on Dec. 5. Miles’ proposal moved the date back to Jan. 5, 2023. He also suggested that the county suspend the 3% convenience fee typically charged for online payments. 

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“This is just one effort to give the taxpayers a little bit of relief,” Miles said. 

In Buckingham County, the tax ordinance specifically states the bills have to be paid on Dec. 5 to avoid penalties and other fees, so the supervisors agreed to do a one time amendment. For this year only, they agreed to move the due date for personal property taxes to Jan. 5, 2023. They also voted to push through the second proposal from Miles, suspending the 3% convenience fee for personal property taxes until March 1, 2023. 

Again, to be clear, this only affects personal property taxes. Real estate taxes will be due on the regular schedule. That 3% suspension also only applies to personal property tax payments. 

“It gives them another pay period, maybe two pay periods to help with their taxes,” Buckingham County Administrator Karl Carter said. 

What is personal property tax? 

When we talk about property, “real property” is real estate. This means the land you own, your house and any other buildings, fences, driveways or other improvements. On the other hand, “personal property” includes things like your vehicles, your livestock and such. 

Buckingham supervisors kept referring to skyrocketing used car prices and that’s accurate. This year, prices for used vehicles have climbed, thanks to the continuing inventory shortage. Beginning in 2021, the number of new vehicles available dropped, due to COVID-19 and the global supply chain. According to data from Kelly Blue Book, stores are selling most, if not all of their stock orders months before they arrive on the lot. 

With fewer new cars to buy, that’s driven up the selling price and assessed value of used vehicles as well. Kelly Blue Book’s data shows as of April, prices for used vehicles had spiked 28% higher than in 2021. As things slowly get back to normal, that’s changing. As of Monday, Oct. 31, that price growth was just 11% higher than last year. Still, the latest data from Kelly Blue Book warns it’ll be at least two to three years before the supply chain is fully corrected and things truly get back to normal. 

For local residents, that means you can expect a bit of sticker shock on the assessed value of your vehicle at least a while longer. Buckingham officials saw that and made a decision to lend a hand. 

Another change for Buckingham County? 

During Tuesday night’s meeting, supervisors made another decision that could affect taxes in later years. By a unanimous vote, the group asked the finance committee to look at the possibility of semi-annual tax payments. That would mean potentially splitting the tax bill in two, with each part due six months 

Those discussions will take place over the next few months, once the finance committee goes over the information and makes a recommendation.