Personal Property Tax

Who Must File & When

Any person who has filed a personal property return for a motor vehicle or trailer, for which there has been no change in situs or status, shall not be required to file another personal property return on such vehicle or trailer.

The owner shall file a new or amended personal property return with the commissioner of the revenue within 30 days of when any of the following events occur:

  • Change in ownership due to purchase, acquisition, sale, trade or disposal.
  • Change in name or address of the person or persons owning or leasing the motor vehicle or trailer.
  • Change in the use of the motor vehicle from personal to business use or vice versa.
  • Any event or occurrence which causes a motor vehicle or trailer to acquire or lose situs of taxation.
  • Any other change affecting the assessment or levy of personal property tax on the motor vehicle or trailer for which a return was previously filed.

Every person or business owning a mobile home, boat, boat motor or airplane is required to file a personal property return on or before February 15 each year.

Tax Relief Certifications and signatures are required on every return and when a change to information is requested.

Personal Property taxes on motor vehicles are prorated on a monthly basis, while mobile homes are prorated on a quarterly basis.

Taxes are due in two installments: June 5 and December 5.

For questions regarding assessments, please call the Commissioner of the Revenue at 757-926-8657.

As of January 1, 2007, city decals are no longer required in Newport News. The Treasurer’s office will be assessing a Vehicle License Fee (VLF).

For questions regarding a bill, payment plan or Vehicle License Fee, please visit or contact the Office of the Treasurer at (757) 926-8731 Option/Extension "zero(0)"

Personal Property Tax Relief Act

The tax on the first $20,000 of the assessed value of your qualified personal property will be reduced for tax years 2006 and forward.

For qualifying vehicles valued at $1,000 or less, your obligation to pay this tax has been eliminated for tax years 2006 and forward.

Refer to Car Tax Relief qualifications.

How Vehicles Are Assessed

Assessments are based on the clean loan value listed in N.A.D.A. (National Automobile Dealers Association) Official Used Car Guide. The minimum assessment is $200.

 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fair market values of automobiles and trucks model years 2003-2021 have increased at an average of 33%. In previous years, your tax bill would be calculated at the 100% figure of the assessment. For tax year 2022, city council, in agreement with the Commissioner of the Revenue, has passed an amendment to reduce the assessment ratio to be 75% of the assessment figures reported by our approved assessing guide NADA. This will only affect automobiles and trucks model years 2003-2021 assessed by NADA. While this may produce a decrease in the tax bill for many vehicles, some tax bills will increase due to the increased NADA values causing higher assessments.

Who is Exempt?

Property solely titled to a non-resident active-duty military member and is not used in a trade or business is tax exempt. However, in order to obtain tax exemption, a copy of the most current leave and earnings statement showing the name, last 4 digits of the social security number, state of residence and ETS or separation date is required. Non-resident NATO members and foreign military students are also exempt, upon filing a tax exemption letter from the appropriate agency each year.

See the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (SCRA) - effective November 11, 2009.

Tax Rates

The Personal Property tax rates are set by City Council. Refer to the Personal Property tax rate schedule for current tax rates.