Local Commentary

New Vehicle Form Intends to Make Paying Taxes Easier

By Tom Clinton

You probably got your 2020 Vehicle Verification Form in the mail recently from the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office, which is traditional for July; it’s also our biggest mailing of the year. There’s always a lot of information that needs to get updated. I know it’s not quite as exciting as getting the Publisher’s Clearing House letter, but we hope you got a chance to read it, and respond back to us, but only if you have any changes. If everything is correct, you can just recycle it.

We try to capture all the yearly changes that have happened to the City’s 12,000 or so vehicles, and its 15,000 or so residents. Did you move-in or move-out, buy a car or sell one, donate a vehicle, maybe you leased a vehicle or turned one in, or perhaps you totaled a vehicle? Have you told the DMV and turned in those license plates yet? We need to know about these changes, and make them before the car tax bills come out in August from the Treasurer’s Office.

We can be informed about these vehicle status changes and address changes any time of the year, but, we know how busy people are and that a gentle reminder in the mail can be a helpful tool, especially during these most unusual times. These changes will make your tax bill more accurate, and paying them by October 5th even easier.

Have you signed up to receive your personal property tax bill by email? You just need: your vehicle’s PPID number, last year’s bill number, and then go to the Treasurer’s on-line vendor’s website: fallschurchva.gov/PayOnline. The Treasurer’s Office can be reached for more details at: (703) 248-5046 or by email at: treasurer@fallschurchva.gov.

Please take the time and give us your updates, if they’re not already listed on your Vehicle Verification Form. We’ve always had the following reply options such as the returned via mail option, phone calls at: (703) 248-5450, faxes at: (703) 248-5212, and the walked-into the office updates. City Hall is now open, from 9 am until 4 pm daily for the Commissioner’s Office, the Treasurer’s Office and the Permits Office. The rest of the building is temporarily closed, but staff can be reached by appointment, phone, email, the US Mail and many transactions can now be done on-line at: fallschurchva.gov. If you do come to City Hall, you will need to wear a mask and sign in.

In the recent past, in an effort to serve you better, we have added the direct email option at: commissioner@fallschurchva.gov, the scan and email option; and the cell phone photo option; which will help us quickly update your information. To limit your outside contact, the Treasurer’s Payment drop box, formerly at the Community Center, has been repurposed into a new, City Hall Drop Box for all City Hall Departments. It’s located next to the West Wing Door, at the front of the City Hall Building, thanks to the amazing Robert Goff of the Public Works Department for the new easy to find yellow Drop Box.

You can use this new drop box option 24/7, and you don’t even have to come inside the building! You can use it to drop off real estate tax bills (now due by July 6th instead of the normal June 5th due date), permit fees, personal property bills, estimated income taxes, state income tax forms, meals taxes, business license renewals; and even recently for absentee primary ballots, plus any love notes for a City staff member!

Included in the Commissioner’s mail out was a yellow flyer about local DMV Services. Who would have expected that the DMV would be closed for months, and then re-open by appointment only, via their website: dmvnow.com? We get lots of emails and questions about the DMV. The City Hall DMV2Go Mobile Unit dates have been cancelled until further notice due to staffing and social distancing concerns. The DMV Connect Service, which is normally located in the Laurel Conference Room at City Hall, has cancelled their recent dates and the schedule is currently frozen. Check with the Commissioner’s Office or the DMV’s website to see if that changes this summer or fall.

The Commissioner’s Office had the recent honor of helping valuable members of our business community as they have struggled to make ends meet, and tried to keep employees on the payroll. Many applied for and received Business Grants from the City’s Economic Development Authority. The City’s EDO staff worked hard to get that innovative, but never been done before, program off the ground. When those checks arrived in the office late on a Friday of a long holiday weekend; I was happy to hand deliver those checks to those business’ doors, and some to the business owner’s home address because some things stay the same, and some things really change; we are willing and able to do whatever it takes to get the job done! Be safe my friends!

Tom Clinton is the commissioner of revenue for the City of Falls Church