July 24, 2024
Property

What Richmond blames for 66,000 personal property tax bill mistakes


RICHMOND, Va. — Personal property taxes are the second largest local revenue source for the City of Richmond, generating approximately 12% of the City’s revenue.

In May, CBS 6 reported that the City had wrongly assessed the value of thousands of motor vehicles.

Local News

Mistake impacts thousands of Richmond taxpayers

6:17 PM, May 24, 2023

Now we know, based on an audit released on Dec. 5, Richmond made more than 66,000 billing mistakes.

According to the audit, a system error was detected by the Finance Department upon review of taxpayers’ personal inquiries about the increase in their personal property tax bill in 2023.

The audit found the department did not have a process to capture variations in the assessment methods from year-to-year, did not have a quality assurance review process for assessments made by staff, a review process for VIN histories, or a control in place to review if or when the assessment of a vehicle is overridden by personnel in the tax office.

A statement from a city spokesperson said the following:

The City of Richmond sends out over 220,000 personal property bills. The due date for personal property taxes was amended from June 5, 2022 to August 5, 2022. However, due to technical issues arising from the legacy billing system, 66,000 accounts were assessed penalty and interest during the extended due date of August 5. These accounts have been identified and are being corrected. To date 41,000 have been corrected and the remainder will be corrected by March 31, 2024.

The audit also said DMV data is not always accurate, noting sometimes mailing addressing in the Richmond area have Richmond as the City name, but the address is actually located outside city boundaries. There is no automated process in place to ensure the addresses provided by the DMV are within the confines of the city.

The audit recommends a review of accounts where the owner’s address is outside of the city, but the vehicle is listed as garaged within the city.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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