Commissioner of Revenue

Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) Information

 

En español

What is the Personal Property Tax Relief Act?

The Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998 provides tax relief for passenger cars, motorcycles, and pickup or panel trucks having a registered gross weight of less than 7,501 pounds. To qualify, a vehicle must:

  • be owned by an individual or leased by an individual under a contract requiring the individual to pay the personal property tax;

    AND
  • be used 50% or less for business purposes.

Motor homes, trailers, boats, and farm use vehicles DO NOT qualify for tax relief.

Back To Top

Does your vehicle qualify for Car Tax Relief?

What is a Qualified Vehicle?

  • Any passenger car, motorcycle, pickup or panel truck having a registered gross weight of less than 7,501 pounds.
  • The vehicle must be owned or leased by an individual and NOT used for business purposes.
  • Leased vehicles for personal (non-business) use qualify when the lessee is responsible for payment of the personal property tax by the terms of the lease agreement.

What is a Non-Qualified Vehicle?

  • A vehicle used predominantly for business purposes.
  • A vehicle leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual.
  • A pickup or panel truck having a registered gross weight of 7,501 pounds or greater.

What is the definition of Business Purposes?

If you can answer yes to any of the following criteria, your vehicle is considered predominantly used for business purposes and does not qualify for Personal Property Tax Relief. Therefore the taxpayer would be responsible for full payment of the tax.

  • More than 50% of the mileage for the year is claimed as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes OR is reimbursed by an employer.
  • More than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle is deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax.
  • The cost of the vehicle is expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code.
  • The vehicle is leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual.

If your vehicle is improperly qualified or you are uncertain whether your vehicle is eligible for car tax relief, please contact the Commissioner of Revenue Office at 703-228-3135.

Information about personal property tax relief is also available on the Commonwealth of Virginia website.

Beginning January 1, 2003, you are required to certify annually to Arlington County that your vehicle remains qualified to receive car tax relief. Therefore, you must review all vehicle information sent to you by Arlington County as well as the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Application for Certificate of Title and Registration to ensure your vehicles are qualified. Qualifying information may be included on County personal property tax returns, decal applications, and tax bills, as well as the DMV vehicle registration renewals. If your vehicle is improperly qualified or you are uncertain whether your vehicle is eligible for car tax relief because it is used part of the time for business purposes, contact Arlington County at 703-228-3135. When you display your Arlington County decal and pay your taxes on qualifying vehicles, you are certifying to Arlington County that your vehicle has been qualified correctly.

Back To Top

2013 Vehicle Personal Property tax formulas have been established:

The 2013 tax rate is $5.00 per $100 of assessed value. Vehicles are assessed for the number of months they are located in Arlington County.

For 2013, qualifying conventional fuel vehicles will receive tax relief in the following way:  The first $3,000 in annual assessed value is fully subsidized by the State; the next $17,000 in annual assessed value, from $3,001 - $20,000, is subsidized at 27%; annual assessed value above $20,000 is not subsidized.

n April 16, 2011 with the Commissioner’s support and encouragement, the Arlington County Board adopted a measure to offer enhanced personal property tax relief (PPTRA) for vehicles specially adapted to transport individuals with disabilities.  Whether a vehicle qualifies for this tax relief will be determined by the Commissioner of Revenue and her staff based on the following criteria:

  • The vehicle must be a passenger car, motorcycle, pickup truck, or panel truck
  • The vehicle must have a registered gross weight of less than 7,501 pounds
  • The vehicle must be owned by an individual, or leased by an individual under a contract requiring the individual to pay the tax
  • The vehicle must be used no more than 50% of the time for business purposes
  • The vehicle must be specially equipped and/or modified to provide transportation for physically disabled individuals

For those vehicles that do qualify, the 2013 tax rate will include 100% tax relief on vehicle values up to $3,000 and 50% tax relief on vehicle values from $3,001 to $20,000. Vehicle values over $20,000 will receive no tax relief.

In support of Arlington's Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), clean fuel vehicles will receive 100% tax relief on the first $3,000 of the vehicle's value and 50% tax relief on the next $17,000 of the vehicle's value, from $3,001 - $20,000. The portion of a qualifying vehicle’s assessed value over $20,000 is not tax exempt.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact our office at 703-228-3135 or by email at vehicle@arlingtonva.us .

Background on car tax relief

In 1998, the Virginia General Assembly passed the “Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998” (PPTRA) that applies to the first $20,000 of the assessed value of eligible cars, panel and pick-up trucks.

Personal property taxes provide a significant source of income to local jurisdictions. This car tax relief was possible because the General Assembly agreed to subsidize local governments and the Commonwealth has routinely subsidized 70% of the tax on the first $20,000 of annual assessed value on eligible vehicles. Vehicles valued at $1,000 or less were fully subsidized.

There were two important changes in 2006 to Arlington County’s vehicle personal property tax. First, the tax rate was raised by the County Board from $4.40 per $100 of assessed value to $5.00 per $100 of assessed value. Second, the Virginia General Assembly changed the way the car tax subsidy was distributed. Starting with tax year 2006 and continuing in 2007, each jurisdiction in Virginia receives a fixed amount for car tax relief, regardless of the number or value of the cars registered in that jurisdiction. It is up to each jurisdiction to decide how to distribute this tax relief to eligible vehicles. Relief will still only be applied to the first $20,000 in annual assessed value.

Arlington’s share of the tax relief money each year will be approximately $31.3 million. This represents 3.29% of the total statewide tax relief.

For more information about the Vehicle Personal Property tax rate change in 2006 click here (30.0K PDF format).

Back To Top


Last Modified: August 28, 2013
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611