[Adopted 11-14-2007; amended in its entirety 3-6-2017]
Editor's Note: This ordinance stated that it is authorized by § 58.1-3506.1 of the Code of Virginia.
The Board of Supervisors of Buchanan County, Virginia, finds that elderly and disabled taxpayers are bearing an extraordinary tax burden on certain tangible personal property in relation to their income and financial worth, and hereby ordains that such tangible personal property shall be eligible to be assessed and taxed in accordance with the provisions of Article 1.01 of Chapter 35 of Title 58.1 of the Code of Virginia and this article.
For the purposes of this article and unless otherwise required by the context:
- A person who has reached the age of 65 years as of December 31 of the preceding year.
- An individual who is permanently and totally disabled so to be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment or deformity which can be expected to result in death or which can be expected to last for the duration of such person's life. A person receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423(d) shall be deemed disabled.
- NET FINANCIAL WORTH
- The assets, including the present value of all equitable interests, less the liabilities of the individuals prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
- QUALIFYING VEHICLE
- "Qualifying vehicle" means any passenger car, motorcycle, autocycle, and pickup or panel truck, as those terms are defined in § 46.2-100, that is determined by the commissioner of the revenue of the county or city in which the vehicle has situs as provided by § 58.1-3511 to be (i) privately owned; (ii) leased pursuant to a contract requiring the lessee to pay the tangible personal property tax on such vehicle; or (iii) held in a private trust for nonbusiness purposes. In determining whether a vehicle is a qualifying vehicle, the commissioner of revenue must rely on the registration of such vehicle with the Department pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 46.2-600 et seq.) of Title 46.2 or, for leased vehicles. the information of the Department pursuant to Subsections B and C of § 46.2-623, unless the commissioner of the revenue has information that the Department's information is incorrect, or to the extent that the Department's information is incomplete. For purposes of this chapter. all-terrain vehicles and off-road motorcycles titled with the Department of Motor Vehicles and mopeds shall not be deemed qualifying vehicles.
A vehicle which is qualified for the relief provided by this article shall be classified as "Elderly or Disabled Owner Vehicle" and subject to the tax on tangible personal property annually imposed on such classification.
The total income received by an elderly or disabled vehicle owner during the calendar year immediately preceding the tax year for which the relief provided by this article is sought shall not exceed $25,000. This income limitation shall be computed by aggregating the income of a husband and wife who reside in the same dwelling regardless of how such vehicle may be titled.
The net financial worth of an elderly or disabled vehicle owner as of December 31 of the immediately preceding calendar year and for each day of the tax year shall not exceed $50,000. This net worth limitation shall be computed by excluding the unencumbered fair market value of the elderly or disabled owner's principal residence and up to one acre of land on which the principal residence is situated and any liabilities secured by such principal residence and land (and excluding the value of household furnishings, furniture, appliances and other items typically used in a home, which shall include any specialized equipment typically used in a home by a person with a disability). The assets and liabilities of a husband and wife who reside in the same dwelling shall be aggregated regardless of how the elderly or disabled owner vehicle may be titled.
Any person desiring the tax relief allowed under this article shall file an application with the Commissioner of Revenue between March 1 and May 1 of the tax year for which relief is to be granted. The application shall be on forms provided by the Commissioner of Revenue.
The application shall contain an affidavit that the owner satisfies the age or disability requirements; that the vehicle is primarily used by the owner whose age or disability is the basis upon which relief is sought; that the owner and the spouse of the owner satisfy the income and net worth limitations set forth in §§ 88-71 and 88-72: and that the applicant reasonably expects to continue to satisfy the net worth limitation and, if applicable. the disability requirement, throughout the tax year for which relief is sought.
The application shall also contain a complete copy of the Federal and Virginia income tax returns of the individuals whose income is subject to the limitation in § 88-71 for the calendar year preceding the tax year for which relief is sought. If such tax returns are not available when the application is required to be filed, the copies shall be provided to the Commissioner of the Revenue immediately after they have been filed with the appropriate tax officials.
If relief is sought on the basis of the disability of the owner, the application shall contain a certification by the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Railroad Retirement Board. If the owner is ineligible for certification by any of these agencies, the application shall contain a sworn affidavit by two medical doctors who are either licensed to practice medicine in Virginia or are military officers on active duty who practice medicine with the United States Armed Forces, that the owner or the owner's spouse is permanently and totally disabled, as defined in Va. Code § 58.1-3506.3. The affidavit of at least one of the doctors shall be based upon a physical examination of the applicant by the doctor making the affidavit. The affidavit of one of the doctors may be based upon medical information contained in the records of the Civil Service Commission which is relevant to the standards for determining permanent and total disability.
The Commissioner of Revenue shall make any other reasonable inquiry, including, if need be, requiring the questions be answered under oath, for the purpose of determining if the owner is eligible for the relief provided under this article.
If there is a change in circumstances during the tax year that would have the effect of violating the ownership or disability requirements of § 88-70, or the net worth limitation of § 88-72. then the owner is ineligible for relief and the vehicle shall be classified. assessed and taxed for the tax year as if no relief had been granted under this article. No such reclassification and reassessment shall be required for a tax year if the change in circumstances is attributable to the death during the tax year of the person whose age or disability qualified the vehicle for the relief granted by this article.
The additional tax attributable to any reclassification and reassessment required by this section shall be prorated as follows:
The effective date of this article is January 1, 2008 for the taxable year 2008 and thereafter. The tax relief provided herein shall be in the amount of $50. which shall be deducted as a credit on the personal property tax bill for one motor vehicle per disabled or elderly taxpayer meeting the income and net financial worth criteria set forth in §§ 88-71 and 88-72. Failure of a taxpayer to be current in the payment of all local taxes shall result in the forfeiture of the tax relief provided herein.
The Commissioner of Revenue shall employ reasonable means to notify residents of the terms and conditions of the relief available under this article.
Any person or persons who falsely claim exemptions under this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500 for each offense.