Record number of people challenge Virginia Beach personal property taxes

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - City officials anticipate this year will set a record for the number of people coming by a drive-thru to challenge their personal property bill.

"We're busy because more and more people are finding out about us," Commissioner of the Revenue Phil Kellam said. "It's grown tremendously." Kellam says more and more people are sharing their experiences on social media, leading to the growth. The drive-thru has been offered for 20 years, but Kellam says many people didn't know about it. He estimates about 15,000 people will challenge their assessments this year, a record.

Residents can challenge the value of their cars each week day from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Princess Anne Athletic Complex. Even though Tuesday is the deadline to pay the bill, Kellam says people can still challenge through Friday, June 8. If they're successful after Tuesday, they'll be offered a refund.

"I work for these folks," Kellam said. "I'm letting them know that I'm here to correct my assessment or defend my assessment."

Kellam says when he issues the taxes based on the value of vehicles, he can't determine if the vehicle has damage or high mileage. Drivers can come by the drive-thru and have their car reexamined. "It may sound a little pithy, but I don't forget who pays the bills."

Among them was Karen Thomas. The life-long resident had never tried the drive-thru before Monday. "I thought it was worth a try," Thomas said with a laugh. "Every little penny counts." In the end, she wound up saving about $40. "This was totally easy to do."