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Frequently Asked Questions
How many acres of agricultural land do I need to qualify for land use?
The minimum requirement for open land is 5 acres, (excluding a 1 acre house site), that has been farmed for 5 years prior to the time you apply.
If I sell my parcel of land do I have to pay back taxes?
If you sell a parcel that will meet the requirements for the land use program, there would be no rollback tax.
If I sell my parcel and the buyer does not want to farm it any longer, who pays the taxes?
The party that changes the use of the property is responsible for paying the rollback taxes. So, if the buyer decides not to farm the property any longer, he would be responsible to pay the taxes.
If I buy a piece of land that is in land use and change the use of it a year or so later, why do I have to pay the back taxes of the previous owner?
Land use travels with the land and not the owner, so until you have owned the property for 6 years, you essentially acquire the taxes of the previous owner.
How do I know if a piece of property is within the City limits?
If your zip code is 22401, your property is located within the City limits. There are a very few exceptions to this. Please contact the Real Estate Section of the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at (540) 372-1207 for more details.
What is the real estate tax rate?
All tax rates are set annually by City Council. The current tax rate is $0.74 per $100 dollars assessed.
Where can I find out how much I paid in real estate taxes on my property?
Contact the Treasurer's Office at (540) 372-1001 or click here. The Treasurer handles all tax payment and mortgage company information.
Where can I find out how my property is assessed?
Contact the Real Estate Section of the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office at (540) 372-1207. A third-party appraisal service handles the valuation of all real property in the City. This information is also available at FredGIS.
Why did I receive a supplemental real estate tax bill?
You may be billed for a supplemental assessment on new construction completed after January 1 and before November 1. This assessment will be for the number of months that the construction was complete on the property during the year. This amount will NOT be included on your regular tax bills. These bills are sent to the property owner directly because the Treasurer’s Office may not have the mortgage company information for your property.
Where can I get a copy of a survey of my property?
Surveys and individual plats are recorded with the deeds in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court. Contact the Clerk's Office at (540) 372-1066.
Where are the maps of all the parcels in the City of Fredericksburg located?
The Real Estate Department of the Commissioner's Office, Room 105 in City Hall, 715 Princess Anne Street.
How do I find out the current owner of a piece of property?
If you have the street address or legal description of the property, the Commissioner's Office can provide the ownership information. Contact the Real Estate Department at (540) 372-1207. You may also look up current property information at FredGIS.
My spouse recently passed away. How do I remove his/her name from the bill?
Contact the Real Estate Section of the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at (540) 372-1207.
How do I find out what the assessment was on my house when I purchased it over 10 years ago?
To determine your assessment for a prior year, contact the Real Estate Section of the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at (540) 372-1207.
I recently paid off my mortgage. Is there anything I need to do?
Your mortgage company should assist you with filing your certificate of satisfaction. The Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue recommends that you verify your mailing address with our office to ensure that you receive your tax bills in a timely manner.
How do I find out about any easements or right-of-ways on my property?
Information on easements and right-of-ways is recorded with the deeds and plats in the Clerk's Office. Contact the Clerk at (540) 372-1066 for more information.
How can I determine the zoning on a property and if I can build on the land?
Contact the Building and Development Services Department at (540) 372-1080. They maintain the zoning information for the City and can determine whether or not a property is buildable.
Where do I go to get a building permit?
Contact the Building and Development Services Department at (540) 372-1080.
Does the City offer a tax break for rehabilitating historic properties?
Yes, the City has a program for partial exemption from the real estate tax increase which is the result of rehabilitation of a qualifying residential building. The building must be in the Historic District and must meet certain other criteria. Foremost among these is the requirement that an application be filed and an inspection of the property made by the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue before any work or interior demolition begins. Commercial buildings may also be eligible for rehabilitation exemption. They do not have to be in the Historic District but must conform to other criteria. Applications and additional information are available in the Real Estate Department, Room 107 in City Hall, or you may call 372-1207
How often does the City reassess property values?
All property in the City is reassessed every two (2) years. The current reassessment became effective July 1, 2012. Click here for Reassessment FAQs.
How do I get real estate tax relief?
Applications for Tax Relief for the Elderly or Disabled are available in the Real Estate Section of the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue. You must file an application each year by May 1. In order to qualify, you must meet certain net worth and gross income requirements. These requirements are set annually by City Council.
How old do you have to be to qualify for tax relief?
You must be 65 years of age by June 30 of the preceding tax year unless you are permanently disabled. There is no age requirement for taxpayers who are permanently disabled.
What is the maximum income you can receive and still qualify for tax relief?
The current gross income limit is $50,000. This includes the income of the applicant, their spouse and partial income of any relatives who reside in the house. This limit is subject to change on an annual basis.
What is the maximum net worth limit to qualify for tax relief?
The current net worth limit is $200,000. Net worth includes all assets except for the value of the house and lot.
Do I have to list my social security as income on my tax relief application?
Yes, all sources of income must be included as the gross income on the application. Dividends are counted as income only if the money is actually sent to the applicant and not reinvested.
Can I subtract my mortgage payment from my income on my tax relief application?
No. Since the value of the house and lot are excluded from the net worth, the mortgage payment cannot be excluded.
What is considered individual personal property?
Virginia State Code Section 58.1-3503 defines personal property as automobiles, trucks, manufactured homes, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, trailers, and aircraft.
How do I file an individual personal property return? What is the filing deadline?
An annual filing is not required. Only changes, such as buying or selling, need to be reported . The 30-day filing requirement on new purchases still exists, and items that are not filed with the City within 30 days of purchase are subject to a late filing penalty.
How do I know if my vehicle needs a City decal?
The City no longer requires every resident to display a current decal on his/her vehicle. However, if you plan to park at the Sophia Street parking lot or the VRE lot, you must display a current City decal to avoid a fee. There are also certain streets that are advised to obtain a decal. Any resident may obtain a decal for a fee of $2.00. Please contact the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at (540) 372-1004 for more details.
What is a vehicle license fee?
Annually, a $20 vehicle license fee is charged for each vehicle garaged in the City for any portion of that year. This fee is not part of your personal property tax bill and cannot be deducted on an itemized income tax return.
I am a new resident to the City of Fredericksburg. What do I need to do?
The Commissioner of the Revenue welcomes you to our locality. All vehicles should be registered with Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV). All vehicles must be registered with our office no later than 30 days after moving into the City.
I am moving out of the City of Fredericksburg. What do I need to do?
The information required depends on the locality to which you are moving. Please contact the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at (540) 372-1004 for more information.
How do I know if the locality I am moving to is a 'prorating' or a 'non-prorating' locality?
Please contact the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at (540) 372-1004, and my staff will be happy to determine the locality type.
I am planning on disposing of my vehicle. What do I need to do?
Virginia DMV requires notification within 30 days of selling, trading, junking, or otherwise disposing of a vehicle by completing the back portion of the vehicle registration form. You are required to notify the Commissioner of the Revenue. You may notify the office via telephone, fax, mail or email.
Do I have to register a leased vehicle with the City of Fredericksburg?
Any leased vehicle, including business vehicles, garaged in the City of Fredericksburg must be registered with our office within 30 days of the date of the lease or from the date the vehicle moved to the City. The lessee is responsible for registering the leased vehicle with our office, regardless of the party responsible for the property taxes.
I am a college student. Where do I register my vehicle?
If you own the vehicle, then the vehicle license fee and property taxes will be assessed by place of domicile, which is your place of permanent residency. If your parent or party other than yourself owns the vehicle, then the license fee, decal and taxes will be assessed by the locality where the vehicle is garaged (most likely the jurisdiction in which the college is located).
If I am in the military, do I have to pay personal property taxes?
If your legal domicile is Virginia, your vehicle(s) is/are subject to personal property taxes in the locality where you are registered regardless of where the vehicle is garaged during your active military service. If your vehicle is titled in Virginia, but your legal domicile is not in Virginia, your vehicle is not subject to Virginia property taxes. A copy of a current LES statement is required to absolve any liability to Virginia. This policy only applies to vehicles registered/titled to active military personnel and spouses.
If I own an antique or vintage vehicle, do I have to register the vehicle with the City of Fredericksburg?
Yes, all vehicles need to be registered with the City. If the vehicle is classified as an antique or vintage and has permanent license plates issued as specified in Virginia State Code Section 46.2-730, then the vehicle is not subject to taxation.
My spouse and I are separated and our vehicle is jointly owned. Who is responsible for the personal property taxes?
The vehicle is taxed in both names and both parties are equally responsible for the taxes until the title is changed with DMV.
How do you determine the assessment on a vehicle?
We use the retail value as listed in the Eastern Edition, N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide effective as of January of the year of tax.
When are personal property taxes due? Where do I send payments? How much did I pay in taxes last year?
Individual personal property taxes are due on May 15. Business personal property taxes (including vehicles listed as business use) are billed twice a year and are due May 15 and November 15 each year. Payments should be sent to the Treasurer's Office. The Treasurer's Office can answer any questions you have about current and past tax payments.
Does the City offer a discount for vehicles with high mileage?
Yes, the City of Fredericksburg does offer a discount program for vehicles with high mileage. The criteria for the discount program conform to the guidelines provided by N.A.D.A. Proof of high mileage as of January 1 must be submitted..
Why do I need to file for the high mileage discount every year?
The amount of discount applied to the assessment is calculated according to the year of the vehicle, the make and the amount of mileage. In order to ensure that you receive the greatest amount of relief available, our office requires a yearly update of information. Vehicles with mileage exceeding 150,000 miles are exempt from the annual filing requirement after the initial validation.
How do I contact DMV to update my vehicle information?
The customer service telephone number for DMV is (804) 367-0538. You may also access their web site at www.dmvnow.com.
What is considered Business Personal Property?
Virginia State Code Section 58.1-3503(17) defines business personal property as all tangible personal property employed in a trade or a business. Businesses are assessed on, but not limited to, office furniture, fixtures, equipment, machinery and tools, and computer equipment.
What is the tax rate for business personal property?
The tax rate is $3.40 per $100 of value.
The tax rate for Machinery & Tools is $0.80 per $100 of value. Specific criteria must be met in order to qualify for the Machinery & Tools rate. Please contact the Business Personal Property division at (540) 372-1004 to see if your business qualifies.
How do I file a business property return? What is the deadline?
Business personal property forms may be downloaded from this web site or may be obtained by calling (540) 372-1004. The deadline for filing business personal property forms is February 15 of each year. Any request for extension of time to file must be made in writing. Once a request for extension is received, a written extension may be granted.
I work out of my home, do I still have to file?
Yes. The business personal property tax must be paid on all business equipment.
I depreciate the value of my business personal property each year for tax purposes. How does that impact the way my return is filed with the City of Fredericksburg?
For our purposes, the tax is based on the original cost of the equipment. Each year we utilize a declining value scale, based on the year of acquisition, to adjust the value for taxation. Whether or not your business personal property is fully depreciated for income tax purposes is irrelevant.
Is computer equipment valued the same way as other business equipment?
No. The useful life span of computers and related equipment is less than other business equipment. We use an accelerated business depreciation schedule in determining value.
Do I have to file a new business property return each year?
Yes. In order to keep our records accurate, the information needs to be updated each year to reflect any changes.
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