Commissioner of Revenue

The Commissioner of Revenue’s Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Bozman Government Center, is currently closed for walk-in customers.  

Appointments are being scheduled for the following divisions:

Business Division

Make an Appointment

DMV Select

Make an Appointment

Compliance & Enforcement:  Call 703-228-4017, press 0

State Income Tax:  Cal703-228-4017, press 0

Vehicle Personal Property Tax Division:  Call 703-228-3135, press 0

We appreciate your understanding while we work to keep our staff and customers healthy and safe.

The Commissioner of Revenue's duties include:

  • Assessing all Arlington County property taxes, except real estate.

  • Discovering and equitably assess all personal property such as cars, motorcycles and boats.

  • Discovering and equitably assess all business property such as computers and office furniture.

  • Administering business taxes including: Business License Tax Business Tangible Tax Custodial taxes, including Meals Tax, Short-Term Rental Tax (like Air BnB), Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Tax, and Cigarette Tax.

  • Providing protection of confidential taxpayer information.

  • Providing checks and balances, ensuring that no one governmental entity has total taxing authority over its citizens.

  • Operating a DMV Select, providing citizens with Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) service.

  • Providing  taxpayer assistance with State Income Tax returns.

Definition of Assessment

The Commissioner of Revenue (COR) is charged with providing what are “fair market values” on vehicle personal property by using “values found in recognized vehicle pricing guides”.  The COR cannot take any other action under the law in determining vehicle values. 

The Arlington County Board establishes the personal property tax rate on motor vehicles, trailers, semitrailers, and boats which are garaged in Arlington County as of January 1 each year annually.  Below is the statement from the Arlington County Board regarding the Personal Property Tax assessment ratio and elimination of the Motor Vehicle License Fee, adopted in April 2022 for Fiscal Year 2023. 

National macroeconomic factors, including supply chain issues and pent-up demand, have led to unprecedented increases in vehicle values. These vehicle values are the basis for the assessments of taxpayers’ vehicles and thus the basis for personal property tax paid for their vehicles. Many vehicle assessments are increasing by double-digit percentages from CY 2021 to CY 2022.

To provide tax relief to Arlington taxpayers, the Board has taken two actions:

1.Applying an 88% assessment ratio so that vehicle personal property tax bills will be based on 88% of a vehicle’s value in CY 2022, offsetting much of the increase that taxpayers would have experienced if taxes were applied the full value of their vehicles.

2. Eliminating the regressive $33 Motor Vehicle License Fee that was charged to ever vehicle   owner in Arlington.

While the tax relief will vary across different vehicle types, these two actions will ensure lower tax bills for Arlington vehicle owners.

 

Personal Property Tax Values for 2022

The Commissioner of Revenue (COR) is charged with providing what are “fair market values” on vehicle personal property by using “values found in recognized vehicle pricing guides”.  The COR cannot take any other action under the law in determining vehicle values. 

The Arlington County Board establishes the personal property tax rate on motor vehicles, trailers, semitrailers, and boats which are garaged in Arlington County as of January 1 each year annually.  Below is the statement from the Arlington County Board regarding the Personal Property Tax assessment ratio and elimination of the Motor Vehicle License Fee, adopted in April 2022 for Fiscal Year 2023. 

National macroeconomic factors, including supply chain issues and pent-up demand, have led to unprecedented increases in vehicle values. These vehicle values are the basis for the assessments of taxpayers’ vehicles and thus the basis for personal property tax paid for their vehicles. Many vehicle assessments are increasing by double-digit percentages from CY 2021 to CY 2022.

To provide tax relief to Arlington taxpayers, the Board has taken two actions:

1.Applying an 88% assessment ratio so that vehicle personal property tax bills will be based on 88% of a vehicle’s value in CY 2022, offsetting much of the increase that taxpayers would have experienced if taxes were applied the full value of their vehicles.

2. Eliminating the regressive $33 Motor Vehicle License Fee that was charged to ever vehicle   owner in Arlington.

While the tax relief will vary across different vehicle types, these two actions will ensure lower tax bills for Arlington vehicle owners.

For questions, please call the Commissioner of Revenue’s Vehicle Personal Property Tax Division to speak to a Tax Assessor at 703-228-3135.

 

History of the Commissioner of Revenue

Assessing property in Virginia started in the early 1600s when sheriffs prepared lists of property to be taxed, including personal property and people. In the mid-17th century, the courts took over this responsibility, and this system worked well, but it placed a large burden on the courts during the Revolutionary War. The General Assembly then created three Commissioners of Tax per county, elected for one year. Assessors also prepared property lists, attached a value to them and calculated the taxes due.

In 1786, the General Assembly established the office of the Commissioner of Revenue. The County Court appointed each Commissioner, who kept a tax book, determined what property to tax, worked with the Clerk to determine the levy and provided a copy to the Sheriff for tax collection. In 1851, the Commissioner of Revenue was specifically incorporated into Virginia’s Constitution, and the General Assembly made it an elective office in 1908. In 1910, a popular vote approved an amendment to the Constitution that established a four-year term for the office and allowed Commissioners to succeed themselves.

Since the 1920s, the State Compensation Board has determined the salaries of constitutional officers (Clerk of the Court, Commissioner of Revenue, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff and Treasurer). Normally, localities augment the state-approved funding levels, but because these offices provide vital government services, they should be directly accountable to the electorate — thus, the belief that voters should elect constitutional officers.

Commissioner of Revenue's Organization

  • Chief Deputy Commissioner
  • Customer Advocate
  • Business Tax
  • Compliance
  • Vehicle Personal Property Tax

View the Commissioner of Revenue Organizational Chart(JPG, 147KB).