Turbocharged: Fairfax Car Tax Burden

A 2020 Rav4.

by Bill Tracy

Fairfax County just mailed out its 2022 Car Tax bills, and the tax increase is substantial.

The Board of Supervisors granted us a 15% discount off of the inflated 2022 Blue Book vehicle values. That’s nice, but it looks like the Board failed to mention that the car tax was increasing for a second reason: the “subsidy” was reduced for the first $20k value of the car.

Here are some car tax facts for my personal vehicle.

Base Case last year (2021):
Bill’s 2020 RAV4 Value 2021: $ 23,725
    Tax Before Relief: $1,084
    Tax Relief/Subsidy (under $20k Value): $525
    Net Car Tax Owed 2021: $558 

Here is the tax increase for 2022 ACTUAL:
Bill’s 2020 RAV4 Inflated Value 2022 (less 15%): $27,073
    Tax Before Relief: $1,237
    Tax Relief/Subsidy (under $20k Value): $452
    Net Car Tax Owed 2022: $785

Last year I predicted (incorrectly) that I would owe a total of only $425 Car Tax for 2022. Thus, I owe about $360 more than I predicted, of which +$73 is due to the reduction in the under $20k “subsidy,” and the rest is due to inflation. In short, my 2022 car tax bill is not quite double the expected amount.

But I am a cheapskate. Reportedly, the average new car cost now is  $47,000.  That implies some NoVA residents must pay car taxes over $2,000 per year, per new vehicle, not including sales tax, and not including HUF fees for  green cars.

It’s good thing Michael Vick, known for owning a fleet of expensive cars, left the state a few years ago. Otherwise, he could owe Virginia some huge back car taxes!

Bill Tracy, a retired engineer, lives in Northern Virginia.