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I moved from Fairfax County, Virginia in February 2007 to San Diego. Fairfax County (like several other municipalities) has a lovely thing called Property Tax for things such as vehicles, boats, and recreational craft. That being said, I know I would be liable for a part of 2007 property taxes owed to Fairfax County.

Upon my arrival, I made appointments at the CA DMV and registered my truck in March 2007, and initiated the process for my 350Z a few weeks later. Two days afterwards, I totaled my 350Z at Buttonwillow. At that time, the lienholder for my truck (NMAC) was supposed to initiate a transfer of my electronic title from VA to CA (I had to submit a form for this). The 350Z title was "decommissioned" in late April of 2007.

Life goes on and I refinance my truck through a credit union. 5 months later, I received notice that the credit union could find no record of my title in CA, but discovered it on file in VA. Yes, red flag number one - VA was going to try and milk me for that time whereby my title was held in the state. *sigh*

Fast forward to January 2008 - I submit my tax returns, and I am owed ~$651 from the Commonwealth of Virginia. In early March, I receive a check for $124, and I think to myself - looks like they held my personal property tax liability, but in excess. I get lazy and make a note to follow up soon.

Early April arrives, and I receive a note from the County of Fairfax saying I owe them $532 in delinquent property taxes. Numbers align - but unfortunately, their property tax amount is wrong. Note to self, follow-up with them soon to get some money back. One week later I receive a notice from the Commonwealth stating "This is notify you that we have held all or part of your 2007 tax refund because of the claim below. We have no applied these funds to the claims(s)." Note to self, still need to follow up with Fairfax County to get some money back.

One week later, I get a lovely letter from a collection agency saying that I owe them $600 for fees associated with unpaid taxes. OK, now I'm pissed and motivated in a not so nice way. I speak to the collection agency the following Monday and he states to me that I have 60 days to resolve the issue (which really isn't an issue since ummm... I'm owed money). I ask what I need to do to prove to him, and he says nothing will be accepted from me, only from the client (in this case, the client being the Fairfax County).

I collect my documentation and start calling the POCs identified. Unfortunately, all are out of the office indefinitely (one for 4 weeks) - so I redirect to a general number. I explain the situation, and after much dialogue, she acknowledges that a letter couldn't explain the situation. I fax her my CA registration information for my truck, and we speak two days later. Yes John, we have been received funds from the state for these property records, and I have now adjusted your balance so that you only owed us $238 for 2007. I inquire about the collection agency and the differential of ~$300 I am owed. I am informed that the refund to me will go out in about 3 weeks and that they only update the collection agency once a month at the end of the month.

Today I come home and receive a letter from Fairfax County. A check might you ask? Nope, a delinquent notice bill for $275 and notification of legal action being initiated against me.

I've had enough and lost my patience. What is my next step here? Ask for a supervisor and demand an overnighted check and letter that acknowledges my exoneration of any fiscal liability? Contact the FTC citing the Fair Debt Collections Act?

I am now potentially facing bad credit for Fairfax County's incompetence. I know governments have chronic accounting challenges, but this is absurd. With the federal government, I am entitled to interest penalties and other legal recourse, but am not sure where my rights are with a municipality. For the record for you NoVA people - Arlington and Alexandria are 1000x more competent. I have had another issue with Fairfax in the past where they quoted me (no joke) 6 different property tax amounts for my Subaru that ranged from $260 to 680 as I stood in front of them.

Cliff notes: Municipal government continues to bill me for "unpaid taxes" for what they've collected for, submitted my info to a collection agency, initiated legal action - all for a case where they owe me money.
 

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I grew up in Fairfax - Wow, that sucks. I'm thinking you need a tax attorney for this one or it could drag on for a very long time. Just make sure you keep good documentation of everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I grew up in Fairfax - Wow, that sucks. I'm thinking you need a tax attorney for this one or it could drag on for a very long time. Just make sure you keep good documentation of everything.
I have all my documentation - just nobody knows how to resolve this. They all say one thing, but then I get a new surprise in the mail every time I turn around. I would call their gross negligence an extortionist tactic that should be brought to higher attention...

I have spoken to a few attorney friends back home, and they cautioned that if I piss off the wrong person, it'd only get worse since there's no recourse for lack of accountability in the municipalities... Then again, maybe they're worried about their reputations since they still live there.
 

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I think it's absolutely unbelievable that a state can charge you tax on things you've already purchased.

So let me get this straight... you have to pay sales tax when you buy the car... then you have to pay registration each year (car tax)... THEN you have to pay property tax on top of that?!

:huh:


.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Virginia only has a 3.x% sales tax on vehicles. Registration is $31.50 annually IIRC... Property tax is about $400 annually on a $20K car.
 

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I think it's absolutely unbelievable that a state can charge you tax on things you've already purchased.

So let me get this straight... you have to pay sales tax when you buy the car... then you have to pay registration each year (car tax)... THEN you have to pay property tax on top of that?!

:huh:


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I'm guessing you haven't looked closely at your annual registration renewal fees. The actaul registration is a nominal amount. The rest of the several hundred dollars is property tax CA style. It's based on the market value of your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
California gets you with the 7.75% sales tax when you buy the car. Anyways, I'm not here to argue the benefits and headaches of property tax policy - rather my dilemma of having money collected for taxes that I didn't owe - and still receiving notice that I have outstanding debts.
 

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Similar prob with Fairfax Country

Sorry to bring up an old thread that isn't related to Lotus, but this was the only info I was able to find in google on the subject and I figure others might want to know what's up.

Just wanted to let people know its 2011 and Fairfax County hasn't cleaned up their act and what they can do.

I did my Virginia 2010 state return and promptly received a letter from the Commonwealth of Virginia AND Fairfax County Dept. of Tax Administration.

The letter from the Commonwealth stated my refund was being withheld because of back taxes. The letter from Fairfax County stated $299.45 was owed for 2009 and 2010 even though I only lived in Fairfax county for about 4 months in 2009 and lived in Manassas Park Jan 1st. Important to note: the Fairfax letter was NOT a bill as it did NOT state exact period OR the property for which tax was owed. To me this is borderline extortion.

The letter from Fairfax County stated that I had 30 days to submit a protest including documented proof that I do not owe the tax. I mailed my documentation immediately.

Despite the letter stating I had 30 days to reply and submitting my letter in writing I received a phone call from collections the very NEXT WEEK. Collections didn't mail a bill either stating the period OR the property for which tax was owed. OK, now this meets the definition of extortion so I became upset.

I almost paid collections over the phone because it was only about $160 for some reason, but I didn't pay because my scam radar kicked in. I decided in the recesses of my brain that the only way this could be happening is that the collections agency was a scam that somehow got wind of the fact that I may owe some taxes.

So, I asked the collections guy about the letter and having 30 days to respond and the the income tax lien and he told me that they didn't receive any information about any of that. He also told me that the account was submitted to collections almost 15 days ago and was about to start accruing interest. I wasn't even being given 3 days let alone 30.

So, he finally gave me Fairfax County's number 703-222-8234 (which I double checked to make sure it was legit) and told me how to actually get in touch with a person by NOT selecting the option for "you account is in collections."

I called Fairfax County, got a person and had them pull up my account info. They said that they received my letter and decided I didn't owe any taxes so they released my state income tax refund. I told them collections was calling me, and they said collections will receive information shortly that my account is in good standing.

I asked the Fairfax County rep if I would receive something from them in writing stating that my account was in good standing. She said, "no" to which I protested especially since a collections agency has contacted me. She finally agreed to send me a print out of her screen.

I called the collections agent back and left a message. I am waiting for them to return my call so I can try to straighten this out.

But, yeah. What's that Act called? Fair Debt Collections Act? I'm sure Fairfax is violating it every time they make this mistake..

Note to Fairfax Country: If you think someone owes you tax, try sending them a bill with the time period and the property taxed! If you aren't sure ask.. Don't just send a letter with an excessive amount threatening further legal action in the next 30 days! I'll give you a break on the whole collections thing because I am sure that was a mistake, but CLEAN IT UP FAIRFAX!
 

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you want to hire an attorney or tax lawyer/specialist over 275 bucks?
lets see....you'll pay 1000 bucks to prove youre right over 275 bucks or so?
talk to a supervisor and if you cant resolve the issue, then just pay it.
 
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