Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
Chapter 26. Taxation of Public Service Corporations
5/25/2022

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 58.1-2600. Definitions.

A. As used in this chapter:

"Certificated motor vehicle carrier" means a common carrier by motor vehicle, as defined in § 46.2-2000, operating over regular routes under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Commission or issued on or after July 1, 1995, by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A transit company or bus company that is owned or operated directly or indirectly by a political subdivision of this Commonwealth shall not be deemed a "certificated motor vehicle carrier" for the purposes of this chapter and shall not be subject to the imposition of the tax imposed in § 58.1-2652, nor shall such transit company or bus company thereby be subject to the imposition of local property levies. A common carrier of property by motor vehicle shall not be deemed a "certificated motor vehicle carrier" for the purposes of this chapter and shall not be subject to the imposition of the tax imposed in § 58.1-2652, but shall be subject to the imposition of local property taxes.

"Cogenerator" means a qualifying cogenerator or qualifying small power producer within the meaning of regulations adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-617).

"Commission" means the State Corporation Commission which is hereby designated pursuant to Article X, Section 2 of the Constitution of Virginia as the central state agency responsible for the assessment of the real and personal property of all public service corporations, except those public service corporations for which the Department of Taxation is so designated, upon which the Commonwealth levies a license tax measured by the gross receipts of such corporations. The State Corporation Commission shall also assess the property of each telephone or telegraph company, every public service corporation in the Commonwealth in the business of furnishing heat, light and power by means of electricity, and each electric supplier, as provided by this chapter.

"Department" means the Department of Taxation which is hereby designated pursuant to Article X, Section 2 of the Constitution of Virginia as the central state agency to assess the real and personal property of railroads and pipeline transmission companies as defined herein.

"Electric supplier" means any person owning or operating facilities for the generation, storage, transmission or distribution of electricity for sales, except any person owning or operating facilities with a designed generation or storage capacity of 25 megawatts or less.

"Energy storage system" means the same as that term is defined in § 58.1-3660.

"Estimated tax" means the amount of tax which a taxpayer estimates as being imposed by Article 2 (§ 58.1-2620 et seq.) of this chapter for the tax year as measured by the gross receipts received in the taxable year.

"Freight car company" includes every car trust, mercantile or other company or person not domiciled in this Commonwealth owning stock cars, furniture cars, fruit cars, tank cars or other similar cars. Such term shall not include a company operating a line as a railroad.

"Gross receipts" means the total of all revenue derived in the Commonwealth, including but not limited to income from the provision or performance of a service or the performance of incidental operations not necessarily associated with the particular service performed, without deductions for expenses or other adjustments. Such term shall not, however, include interest, dividends, investment income or receipts from the sale of real property or other assets except inventory of goods held for sale or resale.

"Pipeline distribution company" means a corporation, other than a pipeline transmission company, which transmits, by means of a pipeline, natural gas, manufactured gas or crude petroleum and the products or by-products thereof to a purchaser for purposes of furnishing heat or light.

"Pipeline transmission company" means a corporation authorized to transmit natural gas, manufactured gas or crude petroleum and the products or by-products thereof in the public service by means of a pipeline or pipelines from one point to another when such gas or petroleum is not for sale to an ultimate consumer for purposes of furnishing heat or light.

"Storage" means the storage of energy by an energy storage system.

"Tax Commissioner" means the chief executive officer of the Department of Taxation or his designee.

"Tax year" means the twelve-month period beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31 of the same calendar year, such year also being the tax assessment year or the year in which the tax levied under this chapter shall be paid.

"Taxable year" means the calendar year preceding the tax year, upon which the gross receipts are computed as a basis for the payment of the tax levied pursuant to this chapter.

"Telegraph company" means a corporation or person operating the apparatus necessary to communicate by telegraph.

"Telephone company" means a person holding a certificate of convenience and necessity granted by the State Corporation Commission authorizing telephone service; or a person authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to provide commercial mobile service as defined in § 332(d)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, where such service includes cellular mobile radio communications services or broadband personal communications services; or a person holding a certificate issued pursuant to § 214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, authorizing domestic telephone service and belonging to an affiliated group including a person holding a certificate of convenience and necessity granted by the State Corporation Commission authorizing telephone service. The term "affiliated group" has the meaning given in § 58.1-3700.1.

B. For purposes of this chapter the terms "license tax" and "franchise tax" shall be synonymous.

Code 1950, §§ 58-503, 58-503.1, 58-503.2, 58-508, 58-514.3, 58-514.4, 58-556, 58-626.1, 58-627; 1950, p. 660; 1954, c. 341; 1956, cc. 69, 475; 1968, c. 15; 1970, c. 32; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 45; 1974, c. 397; 1978, c. 62; 1979, c. 153; 1980, c. 649; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 570; 1984, c. 675; 1988, cc. 730, 899; 1995, c. 507; 1996, c. 381; 1998, c. 897; 1999, c. 971; 2002, cc. 443, 444; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 49, 50.

§ 58.1-2601. Boundaries of certain political units to be furnished company, Commission and Department.

A. The commissioner of the revenue in each county and city in which a public service corporation or other person with property assessed pursuant to this chapter does business or owns property shall furnish, on or before January 1 in each year, to each such corporation or person, the boundaries of each city and the magisterial district of the county and of each town therein in which any part of the property of such corporation or person is situated. A copy of such boundaries shall also be forwarded to the clerk of the Commission and the Tax Commissioner.

B. Whenever any commissioner of the revenue shall fail to furnish to such corporation or other person, the clerk of the Commission and the Tax Commissioner, such boundaries required in subsection A, the clerk of the Commission and the Tax Commissioner shall notify the judge of the circuit court of the county and city of such commissioner of the revenue, and the judge shall instruct the grand jury at the next term of the circuit court to ascertain whether such boundaries have been furnished as required in this section. Should the grand jury ascertain that such boundaries have not been furnished, they shall find an indictment against the commissioner of the revenue. Upon conviction thereof, such commissioner of the revenue shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor, each magisterial district and town boundary so omitted being a separate offense.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, whenever the boundaries have once been furnished to any public service corporation or other person with property assessed pursuant to this chapter, the Commission and the Tax Commissioner, the commissioner of the revenue shall thereafter not be required to furnish the boundaries except as shall be necessary to show subsequent changes in such boundaries.

Code 1950, § 58-510; 1972, c. 548; 1980, c. 84; 1983, c. 570; 1984, c. 675; 1999, c. 971.

§ 58.1-2602. Local authorities to examine assessments and inform Department or Commission whether correct.

The governing body of each county, city and town, receiving a copy of any assessment made by the Commission or the Department against property of a public service corporation or other person with property assessed pursuant to this chapter located in such county, city or town, shall forthwith review such assessments and determine whether they are accurate and notify the clerk of the Commission or the Department of any corrections thereto. Such governing bodies at their own expense may, when there is reason to doubt the correctness of the assessed length of any line, retain any surveyor in order to verify the assessment of the Commission or the Department.

Code 1950, § 58-511; 1972, c. 549; 1983, c. 570; 1984, c. 675; 1999, c. 971.

§ 58.1-2603. Local levies to be extended by commissioners of the revenue; copies; forms.

All county, district and city levies on the property of public service corporations or other persons with property assessed pursuant to this chapter shall be extended by the commissioner of the revenue for the county or city, and a copy of such extensions shall be certified and transmitted by the commissioner of the revenue to the treasurer of his county or city for collection. In each city which has a collector of city taxes, such copy shall be certified and transmitted to such collector of city taxes. Forms for use by the commissioners of the revenue under this section shall be prescribed and furnished by the Department.

Code 1950, § 58-512; 1984, c. 675; 1999, c. 971.

§ 58.1-2604. Assessed valuation.

A. Except as otherwise provided in § 58.1-2609, the equalized assessed valuation of the property of any public service corporation or other person with property assessed pursuant to this chapter in any taxing district shall be made by application of the local assessment ratio prevailing in such taxing district for other real estate as most recently determined and published by the Department of Taxation.

B. On request of any local taxing district in connection with any reassessment of property, representatives of the State Corporation Commission and the Department shall consult with representatives of the district with regard to ascertainment and equalization of values to help assure uniformity of appraisals and assessments in accordance with the provisions of this section.

C. The Department of Taxation shall furnish to each county, city or town in which the property of public service corporations or other persons with property assessed pursuant to this chapter represents twenty-five percent or more of the total assessed value of real estate in such county, city or town, the local assessment ratio to be applied within that county, city or town no later than April 1 of the year for which it is applicable.

D. The Department of Taxation shall furnish to each county, city or town, by April 1 of each year, a description of the manner in which the local assessment ratio applicable to the county, city or town for the year was determined. The description furnished by the Department shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the parcels used, the time period from which sales transactions were drawn, the classification applied by the Department to any parcel or transaction, and any mathematical formulas used in calculating the local assessment ratio.

Code 1950, § 58-512.1; 1966, c. 541; 1975, c. 620; 1976, c. 687; 1977, c. 210; 1979, c. 160; 1983, c. 570; 1984, c. 675; 1993, c. 529; 1999, c. 971.

§ 58.1-2605. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2002, c. 502, effective January 1, 2003.

§ 58.1-2606. Local taxation of real and tangible personal property of public service corporations; other persons.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and §§ 58.1-2607 and 58.1-2690, all local taxes on the real estate and tangible personal property of public service corporations referred to in such sections and other persons with property assessed pursuant to this chapter shall be at the real estate rate applicable in the respective locality.

B. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions, all aircraft, automobiles and trucks of such corporations and other persons shall be taxed at the same rate or rates applicable to other aircraft, automobiles and trucks in the respective locality.

C. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions, generating equipment that is reported to the Commission by electric suppliers shall be taxed at a rate determined by the locality but shall not exceed the real estate rate applicable in the respective localities. However, generating equipment that is reported to the Commission by electric suppliers utilizing wind turbines, for which an initial interconnection request form has been filed with an electric utility or a regional transmission organization on or before July 1, 2020, may be taxed by the locality at a rate that exceeds the real estate rate by up to $0.20 per $100 of assessed value. All other generating equipment that is reported to the Commission by electric suppliers utilizing wind turbines may be taxed by the locality at a rate that exceeds the real estate rate but that does not exceed the general class of personal property tax rate applicable in the respective localities.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of any of the foregoing provisions, no additional tax otherwise authorized under § 58.1-3221.3 shall be imposed by the counties of Isle of Wight, James City, and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg upon any real or tangible personal property of a public service corporation or electric supplier unless a final certificate of occupancy for a commercial or industrial use has been issued and remains in effect.

Code 1950, §§ 58-514.2, 58-605; 1966, c. 539; 1972, c. 813; 1975, c. 620; 1976, c. 687; 1984, c. 675; 1999, cc. 866, 971; 2004, c. 504; 2006, c. 517; 2008, c. 642; 2020, c. 508.

§ 58.1-2607. Local taxation of real and tangible personal property of railroads.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 58.1-2604 and 58.1-2606, and beginning with assessments initially effective January 1, 1980, all assessments of real estate and tangible personal property of railroads shall be made by application of the local assessment ratio prevailing in such taxing district for other real estate as determined or published by the Department, except that land and noncarrier property shall be assessed as provided in § 58.1-2609.

B. The real estate and tangible personal property (other than the rolling stock) of every railway company, but not its franchise, shall be assessed on the valuation fixed by the Department and shall be taxed by a county, city, town, and magisterial district at the real estate tax rate applicable in such respective locality.

Code 1950, §§ 58-514.2:2, 58-522; 1972, c. 813; 1978, c. 784; 1979, c. 160; 1983, c. 570; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-2608. State taxation of railroads, telecommunications companies.

Every railway company or telecommunications company as defined in § 58.1-400.1 shall pay to the Commonwealth the income tax imposed by Chapter 3 of this title.

Nothing herein contained shall exempt such corporations from the intangible personal property tax levied under Chapter 11, the annual fee and the annual state registration fee on domestic corporations, both levied under § 13.1-775.1 or from assessment for street and other local improvements which shall be authorized by law, or from the county, city, town, or magisterial district levies hereinafter provided for.

Code 1950, § 58-519; 1964, c. 425; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 41; 1972, c. 813; 1976, c. 777; 1978, c. 784; 1984, c. 675; 1988, c. 899.

§ 58.1-2609. Local taxation of land and nonutility and noncarrier improvements of public service corporations; other persons.

Whenever land and noncarrier and nonutility improvements of public service corporations and other persons with property assessed pursuant to this chapter are appraised for local taxation by comparison to the appraised values placed by local assessors on similar properties in the taxing district, they shall be assessed by application of the local stated ratio of assessments to appraisals, and taxed at the rate applicable to other real property in the taxing district. Such property is hereby defined as a separate item of taxation for such purpose and shall be identified as a separate class of property for local taxation.

Code 1950, § 58-514.2:3; 1979, c. 160; 1984, c. 675; 1999, c. 971.

§ 58.1-2610. Penalty for failure to file timely report.

Any person failing to make a report required under the provisions of this chapter within the time prescribed shall be liable to a penalty of $100 for each day such taxpayer is late in making such report. The State Corporation Commission or Tax Commissioner, as the case may be, may waive all or a part of such penalty for good cause.

Code 1950, §§ 58-514, 58-539, 58-625; 1978, c. 784; 1983, c. 570; 1984, c. 675; 1999, c. 971.

§ 58.1-2611. Penalty for failure to pay tax.

A. Any person failing to pay the tax levied pursuant to this chapter into the state treasury within the time prescribed by law shall incur a penalty thereon of ten percent, which shall be added to the amount of the tax due.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, such penalty shall not accrue in any case unless the State Corporation Commission or the Department, as the case may be, mails the person a certified copy of the assessment on or before May 15 preceding. In the event such copy is not mailed on or before May 15 preceding, the penalty for nonpayment in time shall not accrue until the close of the fifteenth day next following the mailing of such certified copy of the assessment.

Code 1950, §§ 58-514.1, 58-537, 58-561, 58-587, 58-601, 58-614, 58-626; 1956, c. 495; 1972, c. 813; 1983, c. 570; 1984, c. 675; 1999, c. 971.

§ 58.1-2612. Lien of taxes.

All the taxes and levies provided for in this chapter shall, until paid, be a lien upon the property within the Commonwealth of the corporation owning the same and take precedence over all other liens or encumbrances.

Code 1950, §§ 58-536, 58-599, 58-615; 1984, c. 675.