Newport News commissioner of the revenue holds forum to help veterans understand property tax change

Newport News

A license plate belonging to a disabled veteran in Newport News, Va. (WAVY Photo/Corby Slaughter)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Newport News commissioner of the revenue held a forum to help disabled veterans learn more about tax changes that affect special personal property tax rates and personal property tax exemptions.

The town hall event was held Thursday afternoon by Commissioner of the Revenue Tiffany Boyle and came after a change in city code that resulted in some veterans seeing higher personal property tax bills than they are used to.

Since 1994, the city has offered up a lower tax rate for one vehicle owned and operated by a disabled veteran. However, last fall, voters approved a constitutional amendment to the state constitution regarding veteran car tax exemptions. Newport News then updated the city code to reflect the state change that allows all disabled veterans who have 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability to have one automobile or pickup truck completely exempt from personal property tax.

Through that update, however, language allowing for personal property tax discounts for disabled veterans in Newport News was eliminated. Some disabled veterans previously receiving those discounts were mailed bills asking for personal property taxes to be paid at the full rate.

In mid-May, 10 On Your Side spoke with a veteran who was notified that his upcoming personal property tax bill had increased.

Councilman David Jenkins told 10 On Your Side the discounts being eliminated from the city code was “never in the presentation of this amendment.”

At the May 25 City Council meeting, council members added language back into the city code that allowed for discounts to continue.

The informational event for veterans was held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 368 American Legion Drive in Newport News.

Personal property subject matter experts were on-site to answer questions and give guidance.

Disabled veterans can also call the Personal Property Department at 757-926-8657 if they have an issue.

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