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Commissioner of the Revenue
Frequently Asked Questions

Who determines the tax rates for the county?  

All of the Tax Rates are set by the Surry County Board of Supervisors, usually in May or June of each year when the annual budget is adopted. 

 

How is Personal Property Assessed?  

Motor Vehicles are assessed using the NADA guide. Boats are assessed using the ABOS Marine Blue book. Any personal property not listed in a recognized pricing guide will be assessed based on a percentage of the cost. Business Property and Machinery and Tools are assessed using a percentage of the cost. 

 

How do I obtain a Surry County Business License?  

If the business is being operated in or from the Towns of Claremont, Dendron or Surry you will need to apply to that Town for a business license; otherwise apply at the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office. You may need to obtain approval from Planning and Zoning to operate your business at your chosen location. You may also be required to file your Fictitious Name at the Surry County Courthouse. 

 

Am I eligible for a deduction if my vehicle has high mileage?  

Motor vehicles having over 100,000 miles as of January 1, of each year may be given a high mileage deduction, Provided proof (copy of inspection slip, oil change record, etc.) is submitted to the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office on or before May 1 of each year.  Proof must include the VIN# and mileage.  The proof must be submitted each year in order to be given the current high mileage discount listed in the Mileage Table of the NADA book. The discount does not apply to motorcycles, motor homes or large trucks and will not exceed 40% of the current NADA value. 

 

Does my vehicle qualify for Personal Property Tax Relief?  

The Personal Property Tax Relief Act provides tax relief for passenger cars, motorcycles, and pickup or panel trucks having a registered gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less.  To qualify a vehicle must:  

  • Be owned by an individual or leased by an individual under a contract requiring the individual to pay the personal property tax.
  • Be used 50% or less for business purposes.  

Motor homes, trailers, and Farm Use and vehicles used over 50% for business do not qualify for tax relief.  

If you can answer YES to any of the following questions, your motor vehicle is considered by State Law to have a business use and does not qualify for Car Tax Relief: 

  • Is more than 50% of the mileage for the year used as business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes OR reimbursed by an employer?
  • Is more than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes?
  • Is the Cost of the vehicle expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code?
  • Is the vehicle leased by you and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from you? 

 

What if I move taxable personal property out of Surry County or sell it during the tax year?  

You will need to notify the DMV or the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as well as the Commissioner of the Revenue.  Surry County does not prorate Personal Property, so you will still be liable for the full year’s tax.  Per Virginia Code Section 58.1-3511 “the situs for vehicles with a weight of 10,000 pounds or less registered in Virginia but normally garaged, docked or parked in another state shall be the locality in Virginia where registered.”  

 

What if I move taxable personal property into Surry County or purchase it during the tax year?  

You will need to notify the DMV or the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as well as the Commissioner of the Revenue.  Surry County does not prorate Personal Property, so you will not be liable for taxes for the year you move into Surry County or purchase a vehicle during the year.  If you were in another Virginia locality on January 1st of the year you may be taxed by that locality for the year. 

 

What if I am an active duty member of the military?  

  • If you are active duty military and claim your legal residence as Virginia, you follow Virginia tax codes and will be taxed accordingly.
  • If you are active duty military and your legal residence is not Virginia, you are required to provide a copy of your leave and earning statement (LES) to the Commissioner of the Revenue in order to receive the exemption for personal property taxes.  A current copy of your LES will need to be provided each tax year in order to qualify for the exemption. You will still be liable for the vehicle license fee.
  • If you are the spouse of an active duty military you may be eligible for an exemption on personal property titled solely in your name or titled jointly with the active duty military spouse.  The exemption applies only to the active duty non-Virginia resident and spouse.  Dependents and other co-owners do not qualify. Contact the Commissioner of the Revenue for further information.