Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
9/24/2020

Chapter 30. General Provisions.

§ 58.1-3000. Real estate, mineral lands, tangible personal property and merchants' capital subject to local taxation only.

All taxable real estate, all taxable coal and other mineral lands, and all taxable tangible personal property and the tangible personal property of public service corporations, except rolling stock of corporations operating railroads, and also the capital of merchants are hereby segregated and made subject to local taxation only.

Code 1950, § 58-9; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 33; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3001. When boards of supervisors to fix and order county and district taxes; funds not available, allocated, etc., until appropriated.

The governing body of each county shall, at its regular meeting in the month of January in each year, or as soon thereafter as practicable not later than a regular or called meeting in June, fix the amount of the county and district taxes for the current year. Any such governing body may provide that if any taxpayer owns tangible personal property of such small value that the local levies thereon for the year result in a tax of less than fifteen dollars, such tax may be collected as provided by ordinance or such property may be omitted from the personal property book and no assessment made thereon.

The imposition of taxes or the collection of such taxes shall not constitute an appropriation nor an obligation or duty to appropriate any funds for any purpose, expenditure or contemplated expenditure. No part of the funds raised by the general county taxes shall be considered available, allocated or expended for any purpose until there has been an appropriation of funds for that expenditure or purpose by the governing body either annually, semiannually, quarterly, or monthly. There shall be no mandatory duty upon the governing body of any county to appropriate any funds raised by general county taxes except to pay the principal and interest on bonds and other legal obligations of the county or district and to pay obligations of the county or its agencies and departments arising under contracts executed or approved by the governing body, unless otherwise specifically provided by statute. Any funds collected and not expended in any fiscal year shall be carried over to the succeeding fiscal years and shall be available for appropriation for any governmental purposes in those years.

Code 1950, § 58-839; 1950, p. 416; 1952, c. 423; 1958, c. 35; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 52; 1984, c. 675; 1988, c. 430; 1989, c. 81; 1994, c. 252.

§ 58.1-3002. Levy by board for court allowances.

The clerks of the circuit courts shall furnish to the governing bodies of their counties, on or before the day on which they meet to set county taxes, copies of all orders and allowances made by their respective courts, payable out of the county treasury; and the supervisors shall provide for the payment of all such orders and allowances as the courts may be authorized to make.

Code 1950, § 58-840; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3003. Appeal from order of levy.

If the attorney for the Commonwealth of any county is of the opinion that an order for imposition of taxes made by his governing body is illegal or if he receives a petition of one per centum of the registered voters of the county, but no fewer than fifty such voters, demanding that he appeal such order, such attorney shall appeal therefrom, within thirty days after such order is made, to the circuit court of the county and such appeal shall operate as a supersedeas. Without waiting the final decision of the appeal the governing body may rescind its order and impose taxes according to law. If the court, on the hearing of the appeal, is of the opinion that the order is contrary to law, it shall reverse the same and direct the governing body to enter such order as to the court may seem right. If money be collected under any such order, which is afterward rescinded or reversed, the treasurer shall forthwith repay such money to the person from whom it was collected. If he fails so to do, a motion may be made and judgment obtained, in like manner as in cases provided in § 58.1-3140.

Code 1950, § 58-841; 1980, c. 501; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3004. Duty of clerk of board in case of appeal; how appeal tried.

The clerk of the governing body, upon any appeal being taken, shall immediately give notice thereof to the governing body and make out a brief return of the proceedings in the case before the governing body, with its decision thereon, and file the same, together with the bond and all the papers in the case in his possession with the clerk of the court to which the appeal is taken. Such appeal shall be entered, tried and determined as appeals of right, on such record with any other pleadings and evidence that the court in its discretion may permit.

Code 1950, § 58-842; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3005. Cities and towns to make city and town levies; funds not available, allocated, etc., until appropriated.

The council of every city and town shall annually cause to be made up and entered on its journals an account of all sums lawfully chargeable on the city or town which ought to be paid within one year and order the imposition of taxes in such amount as in their opinion is necessary to be raised. Any such governing body may provide that if any taxpayer owns tangible personal property of such small value that the local levies thereon for the year result in a tax of less than fifteen dollars, such tax may be collected as provided by ordinance or such property may be omitted from the personal property book and no assessment made thereon.

The imposition of taxes or the collection of such taxes shall not constitute an appropriation nor an obligation or duty to appropriate any funds by the council of any city or town for any purpose, expenditure, or contemplated expenditure. No part of the funds raised by the general city or town taxes shall be considered available, allocated, or expended for any purpose until there has been an appropriation of funds for that expenditure or purpose by the council either annually, semiannually, quarterly, or monthly. There shall be no mandatory duty upon the council of any city or town to appropriate any funds raised by general city or town taxes except to pay the principal and interest on bonds and other legal obligations of the city or town and to pay obligations of the city or town or its agencies and departments arising under contracts executed or approved by the council, unless otherwise specifically provided by statute. Any funds collected and not expended in any fiscal year shall be carried over to the succeeding fiscal years and shall be available for appropriation for any governmental purposes in those years. This section shall be applicable to all cities and towns in the Commonwealth and the provisions of any charter of any city or town inconsistent or in conflict with this section shall be inoperative to the extent of such inconsistency or conflict.

Code 1950, § 58-844; 1950, p. 317; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 52; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 11; 1972, c. 340; 1984, c. 675; 1988, c. 430; 1989, c. 81; 1994, c. 252.

§ 58.1-3006. Additional tax to pay interest and retire bonds.

The cities and towns of this Commonwealth, by their duly constituted authorities, are hereby authorized annually to levy, in addition to any other levies authorized by law, a special levy upon such taxable property in such cities and towns as is not, by law, segregated to the Commonwealth for taxation, or withheld from city or town taxation, at a rate not in conflict with general law, for the purpose of providing a sinking fund or to pay the principal and interest of their bonded indebtedness, as and when the same become due and payable. All charters of any city or town are hereby repealed insofar as they are in conflict herewith.

Code 1950, § 58-846; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3007. Notice prior to increase of local tax levy; hearing.

Before any local tax levy shall be increased in any county, city, town, or district, such proposed increase shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality affected at least seven days before the increased levy is made and the citizens of the locality shall be given an opportunity to appear before, and be heard by, the local governing body on the subject of such increase.

Code 1950, §§ 58-846.1, 58-851; 1954, c. 465; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 52; 1966, c. 231; 1970, c. 325; 1975, cc. 47, 48, 541; 1976, c. 567; 1979, c. 576; 1981, c. 143; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3008. Different rates of levy on different classes of property.

The governing body of any county, city or town in laying levies on taxable real estate, tangible personal property and merchants' capital may impose different rates of levy on real estate, merchants' capital, tangible personal property or any separate class thereof authorized under Chapter 35 (§ 58.1-3500 et seq.), and machinery and tools, or it may impose the same rate of levy on any or all of these subjects of taxation. Such rates shall conform to the requirements set forth in such Chapter 35.

Code 1950, § 58-851.2; 1952, c. 507; 1970, c. 748; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3009. Tax on payrolls prohibited.

No political subdivision of this Commonwealth shall impose, levy or collect, directly or indirectly, any tax on payrolls or occupations.

The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to prohibit or limit the withholding from an employee's salary of any sums required by the Social Security Act, the Unemployment Compensation Act, federal or state income tax statutes, deductions for retirement systems, or other deductions authorized by the employee or made pursuant to any assignment or execution, nor shall this section be deemed to prohibit or limit the imposition, levy or collection of any tax authorized to be imposed by Chapter 37 (§ 58.1-3700 et seq.) of this title.

Code 1950, § 58-851.2; 1952, c. 507; 1970, c. 748; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3010. Counties, cities and towns may levy taxes on fiscal year basis of July 1 through June 30, and change rate of levy during fiscal year.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, special or general, to the contrary, the governing body of any county, city or town may by ordinance provide that taxes on real estate, tangible personal property and machinery and tools be levied and imposed on a fiscal year basis of July 1 to June 30. Such locality is authorized and empowered to change the rate of any such levy during any fiscal year.

As to any locality which has adopted such ordinance all provisions of this Code specifying a date or month relative to the levy, payment or collection of such taxes shall be interpreted to specify the corresponding date or month of the fiscal year, except that all property shall be assessed as of January 1 prior to such fiscal year unless otherwise specifically provided under § 58.1-3011.

In order to effect a change to a fiscal tax year pursuant to this section, any locality may have a short calendar year from January 1 through June 30, or a short fiscal year from January 1 through June 30. All provisions of law applicable to the assessment of property, levy, payment and collection of taxes for a calendar year shall apply to such short tax year. If such short year is a fiscal year, the locality may borrow beginning January 1 pursuant to §§ 15.2-2629 and 15.2-2631 as if it had been on such fiscal year from the prior July 1. If such short year is a calendar year, borrowing pursuant to §§ 15.2-2629 and 15.2-2631 must be repaid at the time specified in § 15.2-2631 for fiscal year borrowings.

Any locality which levies taxes on a fiscal year basis, as authorized by general law or special act, shall exonerate or refund its personal property tax for that portion of the tax year for which the property was properly assessed by another jurisdiction in the Commonwealth and the tax paid.

Code 1950, § 58-851.6; 1966, c. 374; 1974, c. 294; 1981, c. 437; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3011. Use of July 1 as effective date of assessment.

The governing body of any county, city or town may provide by ordinance that all taxable real estate or personal property and machinery and tools therein be assessed as of July 1 of each year, any other provision of law, general and special, including the provisions of the charter of any city or town, to the contrary notwithstanding. In any such locality, public service corporation property shall continue to be assessed at its value as of January 1, prior to such assessment date. Any ordinance adopting a July 1 tax day for personal property as authorized hereunder shall require that a prorated refund or credit of personal property tax be given for that portion of the tax year during which the property was legally assessed by another jurisdiction in the Commonwealth and the tax paid. Any locality providing for the taxation of certain property on a proportional monthly or quarterly basis as authorized by general law or special act shall provide for a refund or credit of personal property tax for any tax year or portion thereof during which the property was legally assessed by another jurisdiction in the Commonwealth and the tax paid.

Code 1950, § 58-851.7; 1966, c. 380; 1974, c. 294; 1978, c. 692; 1979, c. 576; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3012. Counties, cities and towns may change rate of tax during calendar year.

The governing body of any county, city or town which levies taxes on real estate, tangible personal property and machinery and tools on a calendar-year basis is authorized and empowered to change the rate of its tax on real estate, tangible personal property and machinery and tools during any calendar year, provided such change is made prior to the date on which the personal property and land books are delivered to the treasurer of the applicable county, city or town.

Code 1950, § 58-851.8; 1974, c. 293; 1984, c. 675; 1996, c. 354.

§ 58.1-3013. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2002, c. 719.

§ 58.1-3014. Relief from taxes in cases of disaster.

All taxpayers of the Commonwealth whose lands, improvements thereon, or personal property, or any portion thereof, shall be in any year destroyed in any manner by common disaster, if declared such by the Governor of Virginia, may on application therefor be relieved from the payment of taxes and levies to any county, city or town upon such land, improvements thereon, or personal property as shall be so taken and which are uncompensated for by insurance or otherwise. Such relief shall be for that year in which such property is taken from and after the date upon which such disaster occurred, if so provided by resolution adopted by the governing body of such locality. Any such taxpayer who has not paid the taxes or levies on any such land, improvements thereon, or personal property so taken shall also be relieved of interest and penalties therefor; provided, he shall make payment for his proportion, if any, of the taxes and levies for the year during which the land, improvements thereon, or personal property was so taken, on or before July 1 of the year following.

Any taxpayer entitled to such relief may apply within one year of such disaster to the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing officer of such locality, who shall determine the amount by which the assessment on such property should be reduced by reason of such loss. If such tax has not been paid, the assessing officer shall exonerate the applicant from the payment of so much of the tax as is allocable to such loss. If such tax has been paid, the assessing officer shall certify the amount of such reduction to the treasurer of such locality, who shall issue a refund therefor.

Code 1950, § 58-27.2; 1970, c. 762; 1973, c. 140; 1978, c. 654; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3015. To whom property generally shall be taxed and by whom listed.

If property is owned by a person sui juris, it shall be taxed to him.

If property is owned by a minor, it shall be listed by and taxed to his guardian or trustee, if any he has; if he has no guardian or trustee, it shall be listed by and taxed to the person in possession.

If the property is the estate of a deceased person, it shall be listed by the personal representative or person in possession and taxed to the estate of such deceased person.

If the property is owned by an incapacitated person as that term is defined in § 64.2-2000, it shall be listed by and taxed to his conservator or guardian, if any; if none has been appointed, then such property shall be listed by and taxed to the person in possession.

If the property is held in trust for the benefit of another, it shall be listed by and taxed to the trustee, if there is any in this Commonwealth, and if there is no trustee in this Commonwealth, it shall be listed by and taxed to the beneficiary.

If the property belongs to a corporation or firm, it shall be listed by and taxed to the corporation or firm.

Code 1950, § 58-20; 1972, c. 825; 1984, c. 675; 1997, c. 921.

§ 58.1-3016. Retention of property for payment of taxes.

If property be listed by and taxed to any person other than the owner, it shall not be delivered to the owner until the taxes thereon are paid or indemnity given to the person in possession for the payment thereof.

Code 1950, § 58-22; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3017. Disclosure of social security account numbers for local tax administration purposes.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a tax official of any county, city or town may require disclosure of the social security account number of a taxpayer for any purpose relating to local taxes administered by such official, including verification of the identity of any individual. Such numbers shall be regarded as confidential tax information.

1993, c. 103.

§ 58.1-3018. Payment of local taxes on behalf of taxpayer by third party; tax payment agreements.

A. For the purposes of this section, "third-party tax payment agreement" means any agreement whereby a third party contracts with a taxpayer to pay to a county, city or town on behalf of that taxpayer the local taxes, charges, fees or other obligations due and owing to the county, city or town. Such agreement may have as its subject current taxes, charges, fees and obligations, delinquent taxes, penalties and interest, or any combination of the foregoing.

B. The treasurer of any county, city or town may enter into agreements authorizing third parties to offer to taxpayers within such locality third-party tax payment agreements, provided that such agreements meet the following requirements:

1. Every third-party tax payment agreement shall be in writing, in a form approved by the treasurer of the locality, and shall provide for the payment of the taxes which are the subject of such agreement by the third party directly to the treasurer of the county, city or town within ten days of the acceptance of a duly executed agreement by the third party.

2. Third-party tax payment agreements shall provide for the reimbursement of the third party by the taxpayer on whose behalf taxes were paid in installments over a period not to exceed ninety-six months, and may provide for interest, exclusive of any origination fee, at an annual rate approved by the treasurer which shall not exceed sixteen percent. Such agreements may provide for the payment by the taxpayer of an origination fee at a rate approved by the treasurer which shall not exceed ten percent of the amount paid by the third party. No interest, excluding any origination fee paid by the taxpayer, shall accrue during the six-month period commencing on the date of the payment. This subdivision shall not be construed to permit the treasurer to authorize a third party to make a "mortgage loan" as that term is defined in § 6.2-1600.

3. No fee may be charged to or collected from the treasurer or the locality with respect to any third-party tax payment agreement.

4. The third party shall provide to the treasurer monthly status reports regarding third-party tax payment agreements entered into by taxpayers of the locality. Such reports shall include, at a minimum, a listing of all active accounts, and with respect to each account, total charges, total taxpayer payments, total amounts paid to the treasurer, and total amounts subject to recourse. A summary of the monthly report, deleting any information that would identify any taxpayer and any other confidential taxpayer information, shall be retained as a public record in the treasurer's office.

C. In the event that a taxpayer who is a party to a third-party tax payment agreement fails in his obligations arising under such agreement to reimburse the third party:

1. The third party shall be entitled to receive from the treasurer a reimbursement payment equal to all taxes paid on behalf of such taxpayer pursuant to the tax payment agreement, less all payments received by the third party from the taxpayer, exclusive of interest and fees charged by the third party to the taxpayer pursuant to the agreement. No payment may be requested pursuant to this subsection unless the third party has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the treasurer that good-faith efforts to collect the obligations arising under the tax payment agreement have been made and that, notwithstanding these efforts, the taxpayer is more than thirty days delinquent in his obligations arising under the agreement.

2. Any treasurer who reimburses a third party pursuant to this subsection shall reinstate the amount of such reimbursement upon the appropriate tax rolls of the locality as delinquent taxes or current taxes, as the case may be, and shall send the taxpayer written notice of such action by first-class mail to the taxpayer's last known address within five business days of such reinstatement.

3. If the taxpayer fails to pay in full any sum reinstated pursuant to this section by the ordinary due date of the tax, the treasurer may apply penalties and interest in accordance with general law from the due date of the tax.

4. Any right of the third party to payment arising under a third-party tax payment agreement shall terminate upon the receipt by the third party of a reimbursement payment from the treasurer in accordance with the terms of this subsection.

D. With respect to each third-party tax payment agreement which has as its subject, in whole or in part, real property taxes, the third party shall cause to be recorded among the land records of the circuit court in each locality within which the real property is situated a copy of the applicable tax payment agreement. Such agreement shall be indexed by the clerk under the name of the taxpayer or taxpayers as grantor and the name of the third party as grantee. Upon the satisfaction of all obligations arising under a tax payment agreement so recorded, the third party, within ninety days of satisfaction, shall cause to be recorded a certificate of release, setting forth the names of the taxpayer and the third party, the date of the third-party tax payment agreement, and the book and page at which the agreement is recorded. Any such certificate of release shall be indexed by the clerk under the name of the third party as grantor and the taxpayer as grantee. The clerk may charge a fee not to exceed thirteen dollars for the recordation of any tax payment agreement or certificate of release.

E. Upon the payment of any tax by a third party pursuant to a tax payment agreement, the applicable period of limitation for the enforcement of each tax which is the subject of the agreement shall be tolled during any period in which outstanding obligations remain unsatisfied pursuant to the agreement.

1996, c. 896; 1997, cc. 180, 846; 2015, c. 257.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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