FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — At least one Fairfax County taxpayer is questioning a recent property tax bill, which valued his three-year old car for more money than the price of a brand new model.
Brad Preece says he feels forced to pay hundreds of dollars more than expected for his 2020 Tesla Model Y, and also feels left behind after new federal tax credits were permitted for certain drivers of electric vehicles.
The tax bill sent to Preece assessed his car at $46,800, meanwhile, the price to buy a brand new Tesla Model Y is $3,810 cheaper, according to the base price listed online Friday, and a $7,500 federal tax credit for the vehicle.
Preece was told to pay $1,710.62 by Oct. 5.
“My wife’s a stay at home mom. Money’s kind of tight [as a] single income in this area,” he said. “We live on a budget and so those $400 [more than expected] is kind of a big deal to me.”
“I just can’t imagine anybody this year paying anywhere close to the assessed value on that car,” Preece added. “This seems crazy to me.”
According to Kelley Blue Book, the value of the same performance version of Preece’s Tesla is less than the county’s estimate.
The county responded to Preece’s questions via email, claiming that vehicle values aren’t determined locally, instead, by J.D. Power’s price index released every January.
In an email sent to DC News Now, an employee with the county’s Department of Tax Administration said, “while Tesla reduced its prices several times beginning Jan. 13 according to news reports, the value for a Tesla — or any other vehicle — is based on its Jan. 1 price. State law does not permit us to adjusted vehicle values based on any price changes after Jan. 1.”
Vehicle owners can appeal their personal property tax bills, but are still required to pay them before deadlines pending reviews.
“I’m very curious about how many other people [face similar circumstances]. So, I would say, ‘please, anybody who has a used EV, check your car tax and check how much a new version of that car would cost you today,'” Preece said.
The county also cited that a 10% tax credit for drivers was approved this year, but Preece believes this is not enough assistance.
For Preece, he said he could have benefitted from recent tax credits imposed this year, after federal officials approved them for certain EV buyers.
But according to federal eligibility rules for EV buyers to receive up to $7,500 in a tax credit, Tesla buyers who bought before this year cannot receive the benefit.
The IRS does not allow people who bought a used EV before this year, if they bought from a manufacturer who sold more than 200,000 vehicles in the U.S. at the time of purchase.
Tesla’s eligibility ended Jan. 1, 2020.
Electric vehicle owners who are eligible for tax credits, can file an amended tax return for the tax filing year of the vehicle’s purchase.