King George, VA

King George approves method to issue personal property tax refunds

Watchful Eye
Photo byCourtesy of Matthew Devries

King George may not pocket all of the money that comes in from vehicle taxes. At their latest meeting, the board of supervisors approved a refund process, allowing the county to return money to taxpayers.

In July, legislation went into effect that allows a county to refund or credit surplus property tax revenues. Since the state didn’t define what a surplus is, as part of the refund process, King George had to create a definition. It was decided that a surplus is an amount that’s over 10% of the projected tax revenue.

The county decided it was best to take in an extra 10% on top of the projected revenue in case any adjustments need to be made. Kelly Lackey, the county’s attorney, advised that King George should position itself as best as possible to avoid risks of ever facing a shortfall.

If there is a surplus, as defined by the county’s definition, a refund still isn’t a given. Supervisors have to trigger the refund. They do that by passing a resolution to declare a surplus. Lackey explained that the refund process the supervisors adopted creates a tool, not an obligation. Therefore, if there are years when there is a surplus but the county doesn’t want to issue a refund, supervisors don’t have to.

If the decision is made to issue a refund, for most taxpayers, it will be in the form of a credit applied to the next tax bill.

A decision hasn’t been made yet about whether or not to issue a refund for FY22, which ended in June, because the county has not received the results of its audit yet and doesn’t know what the revenue figures are. However, the county is expecting a presentation from the auditor in December.

If refunds are issued, the credit will be applied to the tax bill the personal property tax bill in June 2023. Individuals who no longer have a tax obligation, such as those who have moved or have gotten rid of their vehicle, can get their refund via check. However, if the refund is less than $5, that check will only be issued if it’s requested.

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