Resident Tax, Fee, and License Descriptions/FAQs

Below you will find all City of Richmond locality personal taxes. Tax categories are complete with tax descriptions, frequently asked questions, necessary forms, and links to external information. If you have additional questions, please contact the Department of Finance.

False Alarm Fees

The City of Richmond has been actively outsources the administration, billing, and collections of false alarm fees.

These enhanced services are designed to increase customer service and raise awareness regarding the importance of reducing false alarms and the impact it has on emergency responders. Citizens may register their alarms for through the online service Cry Wolf ensuring accurate and updated contact information. The website also includes key information regarding the City Code, FAQs, and Alarm Prevention Tips. 

Along with these new services, all false-alarm-related fees can be paid by check and mailed in for processing. Payments for false alarms will no longer be taken in person at City Hall or other locations.

To visit the site, register your alarm, or make a payment, visit Cry Wolf. To contact customer service regarding questions about your false alarm bill, call toll-free 1-877-893-5267.

Other Useful Sources of Information Regarding False Alarm Fees

Restricted Parking District Permits

Section 27-279 of the Code of Richmond provides the criteria necessary to establish restricted parking districts. This ordinance permits the creation of additional districts throughout the city while not adversely affecting existing districts.

General Permit Requirements & Definitions

Please visit the Fan and Carver District pages for specific instructions and forms:

Please review the instructions and complete the application. Tenants must complete an application and have the property owner complete and sign the Property Owner-Tenant Information Form. Payment methods and locations are noted on the Instructions Form. Please contact the number at the bottom of the Instructions should you have any questions.

Parking Decals are permits for persons residing in the residential restricted parking district. The decal enables residents to park vehicles, including motorcycles, within a designated area for greater than 1 hour without being ticketed. In order to park in designated areas of the District, any parked vehicle must display the decal. Those eligible to obtain a permit must display it inside the car, on the lower right corner of the the driver's side windshield.

A resident of the district is defined as an owner of record or renter of property in the district and members of their immediate family who reside with the owner or renter at the address in the District:

  1. Who are licensed drivers; and
  2. Whose domicile is the address for which they are seeking to obtain the parking permit.

Property owners must complete the Residential Parking Permit Application (RPPA) for the respective district and provide either a copy of their real estate bill or other information that verifies their ownership of the property.

Renters must complete the RPPA, have the property owner sign the POTIF and provide a valid written lease for the property located in the District for which they seek to obtain a permit.

Students are required to meet the resident requirements indicated above and comply with the vehicle registration requirements indicated below to be eligible to obtain a residential, restricted, parking decal.

Vehicles must be registered in accordance with the requirements of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If the DMV requires the vehicle to be registered in the City of Richmond, all City taxes and fees that are due must be paid prior to obtaining a parking decal.

Guests will be in violation and may be ticketed and towed if a current guest permit (temporary parking or annual visitor's pass) is not properly displayed. The guest permit should be taped inside the rear window of the vehicle in the lower right corner.

Resident identity verification the resident must present a picture ID or another form of identification that enables City staff responsible for administering the restricted parking program to verify their identity.

Other Useful Sources of Information Regarding Restricted Parking District Permits

Tangible Personal Property Tax

The tangible personal property tax is a tax based on the value of the property, commonly referred to as an ad valorem tax. Tangible personal property is the property of individuals in the City of Richmond.

Pay Real Tangible Personal Property Tax Online

Tangible Personal Property Tax Frequently Asked Questions 

What is tangible personal property?
Tangible personal property includes motor vehicles, farming equipment, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, campers and trailers as well as property used in a trade or business. (See Business Personal Property Tax FAQs for information specific to business personal property.)

When does an item of tangible personal property become taxable by the City of Richmond?
Tangible personal property becomes taxable in the City of Richmond when the item that is subject to taxation acquires situs, or becomes located, in the City of Richmond on or after the tax day, January 1.

How is the situs of the property determined?
Depending on the type of property, the situs is determined as follows:

Property Type Situs Determination
Motor vehicles of all types Where the vehicle is normally garaged or parked
Boats The locality in which the boat is registered with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Farming Equipment The locality in which the equipment is located on the tax day, January 1

How is the assessed value of the property determined?
Passenger vehicles (cars, vans, SUVs, etc.) are assessed based on a recognized pricing guide, N.A.D.A. (National Association of Automobile Dealers). The City of Richmond bases its assessment on the “Clean Trade-In Value” reported in the N.A.D.A. Used Car Guide as of January 1 (tax date) of each year. Newer model vehicles that are not available in the N.A.D.A Guide are valued using a depreciation schedule based on the cost of the vehicle as reported to the City of Richmond by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Heavy trucks (those with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 lbs. or more) are assessed on the “Clean Trade-In Value” reported in the N.A.D.A. Used Car Guide as of January 1 (tax date) of each year. Vehicles that do not appear in N.A.D.A are valued using a depreciation schedule based on the cost of the vehicle as reported to the City of Richmond by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The percentages used to determine the assessed value of heavy trucks is the same as those used to value other business tangible personal property.

Boats are valued based on a percentage, or percentages, of the original cost reported to the City of Richmond by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (GIF).

What is the tax rate for tangible personal property?

  • $3.70 per $100 of assessed value for passenger vehicles, boats, farming equipment and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 lbs.
  • $2.30 per $100 of assessed value for trucks, for-hire or apportioned, with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 lbs. or more

What is the Vehicle License Fee?
The City of Richmond charges a vehicle license fee for each motor vehicle, trailer and semitrailer which is normally garaged, stored or parked in the City. View City Code Sections 26-977 and 26-978.

What is the tax due date for payment of personal property taxes in Richmond?
June 5 of each tax year or within 60 days of the date of purchase, whichever is later? For example, a vehicle purchased on February 1 would be included in the City’s annual billing for property taxes due on June 5. However, property taxes on a vehicle purchased, or moved into Richmond after March 1, would be due 60 days from the date of purchase or the date the vehicle acquires situs in the City of Richmond. In this example, if the vehicle were purchased on March 15, the property tax due date for the taxes on this vehicle would be June 5.

Does the City of Richmond prorate personal property taxes?
Yes, with the exception of property taxes on boats. Boats are taxed based on where they are located on January 1. The property taxes on motor vehicles and trailers are prorated based on the date of purchase or the date the vehicle acquires taxable situs in the City of Richmond on an even month basis.

If a vehicle is purchased before the 15th of the month, that entire month counts in the proration of the vehicle for tax purposes. If the vehicle is purchased after the 15th of the month, that month does not count in the proration of the taxes. For example: A vehicle is purchased on March 12th.

For property tax purposes the vehicle is taxed for 10 months (March – December) of the tax year. A vehicle purchased on March 16 would be taxed for 9 months (April – December) with the month of March not counting in the proration of the taxes.

I moved from a non-prorating locality to the City of Richmond after January 1. How is my vehicle taxed by the City of Richmond?
Since you moved from a non-prorating locality to the City of Richmond after January 1, the locality from which you moved will tax your vehicle for the entire tax year. Depending on the particular facts and circumstances concerning your vehicle and whether you have been assessed and paid taxes to the locality from which you moved, the City of Richmond may assess your vehicle for property taxes as well and give you a credit for taxes paid to another Virginia locality. To enable our staff to review the particulars regarding you and your vehicle(s), please contact one of our Tax Representatives at 804-646-7000.

I moved from the City of Richmond to a non-prorating locality after January 1. Why is my vehicle still being taxed by the City of Richmond?
Pursuant to Virginia law, §58.1-3516, “No refund shall be made if the motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or boat acquires a situs within the Commonwealth in a non-prorating locality.” Since the taxable situs of the vehicle on January 1 was the City of Richmond, the vehicle is subject to personal property taxes in the City of Richmond. The non-prorating locality will not assess the vehicle for property taxes until the next tax year; therefore, the vehicle is subject to personal property taxes until it acquires taxable situs in another Virginia taxing jurisdiction.

I’ve heard something about a “Personal Property Tax Relief”. What is it and how does it affect the tax amount due on my vehicle?
The Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) was first adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1998 and subsequently amended in 2005. In short, the PPTRA provides tax relief to owners of personal use vehicles based on the assessed value of the vehicle. The owners of vehicles that qualify for property tax relief (PPTR) receive a full or partial exemption on the first $20,000 of assessed value of the vehicle. Qualifying vehicles with an assessed value of $1,000 or less receive a full exemption from the personal property tax. Qualifying vehicles with an assessed value greater than $1,000 receive a partial exemption on the first $20,000 of assessed value. The amount, or percentage, of the partial exemption is authorized each tax year by Richmond City Council. In 2017, for example, the partial exemption for qualifying vehicles was 53% of the tax on the first $20,000 of assessed value. Below is a table that illustrates how the PPTRA would apply to vehicles of varying assessed values based on the 2017 PPTR of 53%.

Vehicle Use Assessed Value Total Tax Amount Tax Exemption Tax Balance Due
Business Use $20,000 $740.00 None $740.00
Personal Use $1,000 $37.00 $37.00 $0.00
  $10,000 $370.00 $196.10 $173.90
  $25,000 $801.98 392.20 $409.78

What vehicles are not eligible for property tax relief?
Vehicles that are used predominantly, e.g. more than 50%, for business purposes, vehicles for
which depreciation and other expenses have been claimed on the federal income tax return of
a business or individual, vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 lbs. and
personal use trailers that are used to transport boats, etc. If any of the following questions can
be answered yes, the motor vehicle is considered to be used for business purposes under
Virginia law and not eligible for property tax relief:

  1. Is more than 50% of the mileage for the year used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes or reimbursed by an employer?
  2. Is more than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes?
  3. Is the cost of the vehicle expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code?
  4. Is the vehicle leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual?

My child is attending college and living in the City of Richmond. I own the vehicle they are driving. The vehicle is registered in my name and I do not live in the City of Richmond. How is this vehicle treated for tax purposes by the City of Richmond?
The general rule, under current Virginia law, §58.1-3511 of the Virginia Code, provides the situs for property taxation is where the vehicle is normally garaged, docked or parked. The following exception is stated in §58.1-3511 regarding the motor vehicles of full-time students attending an institution of higher education:

“However, in the event that a motor vehicle is used by a full-time student attending an institution of higher education, and such use establishes that the motor vehicle is normally garaged at the location of the institution of higher education, the situs shall be the domicile of the owner of the motor vehicle, provided the owner presents sufficient evidence that he has paid a personal property tax on the motor vehicle in his domicile, upon request of the locality of the institution of higher education.”

As in your question you have stated that you are the registered owner of the vehicle driven by your child who is living and attending college in Richmond, the exception provided in Virginia Code §58.1-3511 may be applicable. Therefore, the situs for property taxation, upon providing sufficient evidence that you have paid a personal property tax where you are domiciled would be applicable. 

There are other factors that often must be considered in such situations. For example, many students reside in areas that require a Residential Restricted Parking Permit. To ensure that your vehicle is recorded on the tax records of the appropriate locality, please contact one of our Tax Representatives so they can discuss the facts and circumstances particular to your, and your son or daughter’s, situation with you, at (804) 646-7000.

I have recently moved from the City of Richmond to another locality in Virginia. When I attempted to register my vehicle with DMV at my new address, I was told there was a “hold” on my vehicle registration that had been placed by the City of Richmond. Can you explain what this is about?
In recent years, the City of Richmond and many other localities in Virginia, have entered into agreements with DMV regarding vehicle registrations. The DMV program is known as the Vehicle Registration Withholding Program, or VRW. As a participant in the VRW program, the
City of Richmond reports outstanding personal property taxes to DMV. DMV agrees to withhold the vehicle registrations of those who are reported to them as having unpaid property taxes to the City of Richmond. To receive information specific to your situation and resolve the vehicle
registration issue, please contact one of our delinquent collection personnel at 804-646-7000.

Can the assessment of my vehicle be adjusted due to high mileage or condition of the vehicle?
You may submit a form to the Department of Finance to have the mileage or condition of your vehicle evaluated. Click here to obtain a copy of the form regarding high mileage and here to obtain a copy of the form regarding the condition of your vehicle.

Important note: The mileage or condition information must be the mileage or condition of the vehicle on the tax date, January 1.Upon receipt of either of these forms, Revenue Administration personnel will review the information on the form and notify you of our decision regarding the value of your vehicle. In high mileage situations, we use the information provided by N.A.D.A. to (1) determine if the vehicle qualifies as a high-mileage vehicle and (2) what to deduct from the assessment based on the mileage.

Other Useful Sources of Information Regarding Tangible Personal Property Tax

Utility Taxes 

Utility taxes are consumer taxes for the use or consumption of certain utility services, e.g. telephone, electricity, cable and utility services.

Utility Taxes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the taxes I see on my electric and/or gas bills?
These are taxes based on your consumption of the respective electricity or gas services.

What are the City tax rates for electricity and gas services?
As a result of legislation adopted by the 2000 Virginia General Assembly, the city tax rates are based on the per kilowatt hours (KwH) of electricity and per hundred cubic feet (CCF) of gas services consumed each month. The following table contains the current city tax rates for each respective service by service category (residential, commercial, industrial).

Type of Service Electricity Gas

Service Type by Category Electricity Per Kilowatt Hour (KwH) Gas Per Hundred Feet (CCF)
Residential $1.40 plus 0.015116; Maximum = $4.00 $1.78 plus $0.10091; Maximum = $4.00
Commercial (Small Volume) 2.75 plus $0.016462; (8,945 KwH) + $0.002160 KwH > 8,945 $2.88 plus $0.1739027
Commercial (Large Volume)   $24.00 plus $0.07163081
Industrial $2.75 plus $0.001837 KwH > 1,242  

What are the taxes I see on my telephone and cable television bills?
There are several taxes that appear on these bills. Some are local, some state and some federal, depending on the service. Effective January 1, 2007, there is a 5% Communications Tax on communications related services, such as telephone, television, satellite and other such services. These taxes are assessed and collected by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Taxation and remitted to local governments based on a formula established in 2006 by the Virginia General Assembly.

I do not live in the City. Why are City related taxes appearing on my bill? Or, I live in the City but see taxes for other localities, such as Chesterfield County and Henrico County, on my bill. Why?
In either of these situations, we recommend you do the following: 

  1. Contact the service provider to have them make correct your records in their system, where appropriate; and
  2. Contact our Assessment Office, at 804-646-6700, to enable us to determine if this is an isolated situation applicable to you, if there are other customers who live in your area to whom this applies and make the necessary contacts with other localities and/or the Virginia Department of Taxation to have tax revenues that may have been incorrectly remitted to another locality instead of the City of Richmond.

What is the E-911 tax?
The E-911 tax is a consumer tax on the user of the service to support the local costs of providing the enhanced 911 service for emergency services, e.g. police, fire, etc. These funds are used for both personnel and infrastructure costs, e.g. computers, debt service, programs, etc. that are needed to support the E-911 Service.

Other Useful Sources of Information Regarding the Utilities Taxes

Penalties and Interest

Penalty and interest are amounts assessed for the failure to file or pay taxes by the respective due date(s) for those taxes.

To pay delinquent taxes including penalties and interest please call (804) 646-5700.

Penalties and Interest Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If I fail to pay my taxes by the tax due date, what is the amount of penalty and interest assessed by the City of Richmond?
The penalty assessed for failure to file or pay by the tax due date is 10% of the tax amount due. Interest is assessed at 10% per annum (or 10% per year) on the total of the tax amount due plus the penalty. Interest accrues on the balance due daily until the date of payment. In addition, the failure to pay personal property, including machinery & tools taxes, within 60 days of the tax due date incurs an additional 5% late payment penalty.

See link to ordinance adopted by Richmond City Council: 2011 Ordinance - Interest on Delinquent Taxes

If I do not receive my tax bill, am I still assessed penalty or interest for failing to pay the taxes by the tax due date?
Yes. The failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the taxpayer from their responsibility to obtain the necessary information regarding the tax amount due and remit it by the due date without being called upon to do so by the local tax official. The local tax official for the City of Richmond is the Director of Finance.

Is the penalty different for business personal property than individual personal property?
Yes. Businesses are required to (1) file their business tangible personal property tax return by the March 1 due date for filing the returns and (2) pay the taxes assessed by the June 5 tax due date. Both the March 1 filing and June 5 payment dates are subject to a 10% penalty. June 5 tax due date was effective for the 2013 tax year. For prior tax years, the due date was May 1.

Are there any conditions, or circumstances, under which penalty and interest are not assessed for late filings or payments?
Yes. Following are the circumstances under which penalty and interest may not be assessed:

  1. Transfer of real property ownership after January 1 of the tax year. In such circumstances, the Director, upon ascertaining that a property transfer has occurred, may invalidate a bill sent to the prior owner and reissue the bill to the new owner as permitted by Virginia Code § 58.1-3912, and no penalty for failure to pay any tax for any such assessment shall be imposed if the tax is paid within two weeks after the notice thereof is mailed; or,
  2. The failure to file or pay was not the fault of the taxpayer or was the fault of the Director of Finance; or
  3. The failure to file a return or to pay a tax due to the death of the taxpayer or a medically determinable physical or mental impairment on the date the return or tax is due, provided the return is filed or the taxes are paid within 30 days of the due date; or,
  4. There is a committee, legal guardian, conservator or other fiduciary handling the individual's affairs. In such case, the return shall be filed or such taxes paid within 120 days after the fiduciary qualifies or begins to act on behalf of the taxpayer.
  5. Extreme Financial Hardship – The Director of Finance may, on a case-by-case basis, determine the proper assessment of penalty and/or interest due to the taxpayer having experienced Extreme Financial Hardship. The taxpayer must have experienced an extreme financial hardship in the immediate past tax year or be actively experiencing an extreme hardship in the current tax year. Examples of Extreme Financial Hardship include illness, accident or loss of property, death of a spouse, or other extraordinary circumstance beyond the taxpayer’s control.

What are the penalties for failing to file and/or remit Meals, Lodging and Admissions taxes by the due dates for those taxes?
Admissions, Lodging and Meals taxes are considered “trust” taxes. That is, they are collected by the business on behalf of the City and held “in trust” for the City of Richmond until the date they are due to be remitted. The failure to file and remit these taxes in a timely manner can result in criminal charges, e.g. embezzlement, in addition to the usual penalty and interest assessments.

Other Useful Sources of Information Regarding Penalties and Interest