Home Incorrect DMV records lead Augusta County to send tax bills to Staunton residents for vehicles

Incorrect DMV records lead Augusta County to send tax bills to Staunton residents for vehicles

highway move over law Virginia
(© Patrick Daxenbichler – stock.adobe.com)

Between 100 and 200 Staunton residents were mistakenly sent personal property tax bills for vehicles by Augusta County in fall 2023 as a result of incorrect Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles records.

Just after Christmas, the same residents received notices from the county about the error and refund checks for 2023 taxes paid to the county which should have been paid to the city of Staunton. They also received notices from the city that 2023 personal property taxes were due February 28, 2024 to Staunton.

“It was not a county problem or a city problem,” said Staunton Commissioner of the Revenue Maggie Ragon.

However, Ragon said she does not want to put blame on the DMV either that garage jurisdiction records may be recorded incorrectly when residents purchase vehicles at auto dealerships. Also, some addresses are Staunton according to United States Postal Service, but geographically are in the county.

“It’s really just a happenstance.”

The city downloads DMV records every month, and Ragon said she is unsure of the exact cause of the problem.

“It’s really common. It’s extremely common. We shift records back and forth with the county,” she said. In fact, a similar situation happened with 2022 personal property taxes but did not affect as many city residents.

Also an issue is the fact that many residents move back and forth between the city and county without updating their addresses with the DMV.

Virginia is the only state in the nation with cities and counties.

Ragon said that when the error happens it is also not on a salesman at car dealership, but the city’s job to solve and fix. With 28,000 vehicles registered in the city, pinpointing the issue is a challenge.

When the situation happened once before, Ragon, who has been with the city for 18 years, said staff was able to isolate a dealership or a particular auto salesman making the error of a vehicle garaged in the city or county and reached out to that dealership or salesman to further prevent errors.

“I can’t say that was the issue this time. We fix it and we move on,” Ragon said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.

Latest News

missing person

Police: Charlottesville family concerned about 23-year-old man last seen in May

college world series

Live Coverage: UVA takes 2-1 lead in the sixth in 2024 College World Series opener

UVA (46-15), the #12 national seed, faces North Carolina (47-14), the #4 national seed, in the opening game of the 2024 College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.

elijah gertrude

Breaking News: UVA finally confirms Elijah Gertrude out for 2024-2025 season

It’s finally official: UVA Basketball announced Friday, in a conveniently timed news dump, with the focus of the UVA Athletics fan base on the College World Series, that Elijah Gertrude is out for the season after a scooter accident on April 30.

family concept two boys IVF twins
Health, Politics, U.S. & World News

‘How dare you?’: Senate Republicans reject legislation to protect IVF access

woman inside her home with hand fan
U.S. & World News

Beating the extreme heat: Funds available for AC for families in public housing

richard sanders and weapons seized

Charlottesville: Man arrested with machine gun in Tonsler Park

road work

Traffic alert: Travel lane shifts in Harrisonburg on westbound Route 33 begin June 18