Personal Property

The City of Winchester levies a property tax on the following types of personal property:

  • automobiles
  • trucks
  • motor homes
  • motorcycles
  • trailers
  • campers
  • boats
  • outboard motors
  • airplanes
  • business equipment

Semi-Annual Billing

The City is currently using semi-annual billing where personal property taxes are split and due on April 5 and October 5 each year. If the due date falls on a weekend, then the payment will be due on the following Monday

Tax Rate

The tax rate for tax year 2023 is $4.80 per $100.00 of assessed value. 

This tax is assessed by the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office and paid to the Treasurer's Office. 

Tax Relief

The Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) was signed into law in May, 1998. 

Vehicles qualified for tax relief are noted on your tax bill and show a reduction for the portion of the tax the Commonwealth will pay.  For qualified vehicles, your tax bill is reduced by the applicable tax relief percentage for the tax year on the first $20,000 of value.

Tax Relief for tax year 2024 is 36%.

A vehicle must meet all requirements below to qualify for tax relief:

  • Be a passenger car, pickup or panel truck weighing less than 7,501 pounds, or a motorcycle; and
  • Be (a) owned by a natural person, or (b) leased by a natural person under a contract requiring such person to pay the tangible personal property tax, or (c) held in a private trust; and
  • NOT be used for business purposes.

A vehicle is considered to be business purposes if any of these are applicable:

  • More than 50% of the mileage for the year is used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes OR reimbursed by an employer.
  • More than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle is deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax
  • The cost of the vehicle is expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service’s Code
  • The vehicle is leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual.



Vehicle Licensing

Winchester requires all vehicles to be registered with the Commissioner of the Revenue. Vehicles must be registered within 45 days of being purchased or moving into the City of Winchester. After the initial registration of each vehicle the personal property tax will be billed semi-annually. 

Late Registration Fee:

If registered beyond the 45 day requirement, a 10% late filing fee will be added to the bill when mailed.


Winchester prorates personal property taxes levied on motor vehicles (automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles and trailers) and mobile homes.

Prorating means that a motor vehicle will be taxed only for that portion of the calendar year that the vehicle has tax situs (location where property is customarily kept) in the City of Winchester.

Personal property taxes on motor vehicles are prorated in monthly increments.

To apply for a prorated tax if a vehicle no longer has situs in the city, please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office within thirty days. 

Appeals Process for Correction of Tangible Personal Property Assessment

Pursuant to the provisions of Virginia Code §58.1-3980, any taxpayer who reasonably believes that any assessment of that taxpayer’s tangible personal property is incorrect may apply to the Commissioner of the Revenue and other assessing official for correction of such assessment.

The application for correction must contain the following:

  1. Taxpayer name, any taxpayer identification number or account number, taxpayer address and daytime telephone number of the taxpayer;
  2. A copy of the assessment in question;
  3. A separate, concise description of each item which the taxpayer believes was erroneously assessed and documentation establishing the date of the acquisition and the original, capitalized, acquisition cost of each such item of tangible personal property.
  4. A statement setting forth the basis of the claim and the methodology used in determining that the assessment is incorrect;
  5. Any additional information upon which the taxpayer has relied in evaluating the assessment, such as contact information for any professional upon which the taxpayer has relied as a resource for determining erroneous assessment;
  6. A statement of the specific relief sought;
  7. The name of the contact person to arrange an inspection of the tangible property included in the application for correction;
  8. A request for a conference with the Commissioner of the Revenue, should the taxpayer desire one.

It is within the discretion of the Commissioner of the Revenue to determine whether a conference will be beneficial in reviewing the application. Any conference will be informal without adhering to rules or procedure established for adversarial proceedings. The taxpayer need not have legal counsel present although if he/she elects to include any representatives or attendees, the taxpayer must notify the Commissioner of the Revenue in advance. If the taxpayer arrives at the meeting with representatives and has not provided advance notice the meeting may, at the option of the Commissioner of the Revenue, be rescheduled.

The Commissioner of the Revenue may require submission of additional information or documents as he/she deems necessary to properly evaluate the application.

Within forty-five days of receipt of a complete application for correction, the Commissioner of the Revenue will thoroughly review and analyze said application and notify, in writing the taxpayer of his/her determination. Should the Commissioner of the Revenue need to extend the period of time in which to consider the application, due to its complexity, the taxpayer will be notified, in writing, of the expected date that a determination will be rendered.

It should be understood that if additional tangible property is discovered during the review process, the Commissioner of the Revenue will, under law, assess such property even though it was not originally part of the appeals application. 

The taxpayer is welcome to contact the Commissioner of the Revenue with questions or concerns during the process of the appeal.