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Reminder: Vehicle Decal Deadline Approaching

by ARLnow.com November 12, 2010 at 8:55 am 3,805 72 Comments

Have you been putting off putting your new 2010-2011 county vehicle decal on your windshield? If so, you’ll want to stop to procrastination this weekend.

After Monday, county police will be able to ticket any county resident with an expired sticker.

There was a delay in mailing out the decals this year, but officials told us that would not affect the Nov. 15 display deadline.

  • Frenchy B

    I still haven’t received my decal (after paying the bill online back in September). Has anyone else still not received one?

    • MikeyinCrystalC

      Haven’t received mine yet either, and I talked to the county office late last week for them to (re)send me one.

      • Wilson Blvd Express

        They really messed things up this year. I just got my sticker on Wednesday after paying on time but never actually receiving the bill, had to go online myself after seeing a bus ad reminder.

        • Doug

          I received mine quite a few weeks ago…..

    • anon

      If you end up getting a ticket they are fairly easy to protest, there is a form to fill out online on the county site. Hopefully you have proof of online payment for the sticker.

    • NPGMBR

      I received my fairly early but the problem is that I always forget to put it in except this year. I typically don’t think about it till December but never got caught.

      • Lindsey

        Just called the County to ask where our decals were. We are on the autopay program with utilities and personal prop taxes and although we paid, no decals. County says they sent them, but we haven’t seen them. I was advised to come into their offices to pick up free replacements. Not sure why they couldn’t just mail them.

  • Jim

    kill the decal.

    • Wilson Blvd Express

      Yup, total scam. A fee to tax even the untaxable.

    • MikeyinCrystalC

      I’m with you on that. Other VA jurisdictions I’ve lived in have gotten rid of it in the last few years. Thing is, they still charge the $20-30 for them, but don’t have to produce decals (aka more $$$ for them). C’mon Arlington! 😛

      • Wilson Blvd Express

        Fairfax has no sticker and no charge for vehicles that fall under the tax threshold.

  • KalashniKEV

    I’m a new VA resident, but I’m (honestly) curious to know… what gives VA the authority to levy this tax?

    It seems like the biggest scam in the universe…

    • Wilson Blvd Express

      Many states have the same sort of tax, they just include it as the annual registration.

      • PurpleFlipFlops

        What if the above poster paid this tax in another state? Does she have to pay in VA as well?

        • Wilson Blvd Express

          If the car is parked in the county for more than, I think 60 days, the car is supposed to have the sticker regardless of where it is legally registered, even if you have a waver, say you are military or congressional staff, from registering the car in the Commonwealth. Thus, a scam. Now if you are not military or out of area Congressional staff, you are scamming the citizens of Virginia by not registering your car here.

          • PurpleFlipFlops

            Arlington is scamming its own citizens. They discriminates the tax “relief” you get from the State based upon what type of car you own. I call that unfair.


            In 2010, qualifying clean fuel vehicles will receive 100% tax relief on the first $3,000 of the vehicle’s assessed value and 80% on the portion of vehicle value between $3,000 and $20,000. The portion of a qualifying vehicle’s assessed value over $20,000 is not tax exempt. The County’s personal property tax rate is 5%.

            Qualifying conventional fuel vehicles—a category that generally includes non-hybrid vehicles—will also receive 100% tax relief on the first $3,000 of the vehicle’s assessed value. However, the portion of conventional fuel vehicle’s assessed value between $3,001 and $20,000 be exempt from 37% of the County’s 5% personal property tax rate. The portion of assessed value over $20,000 is fully taxed at the County’s 5% personal property tax rate.

          • PurpleFlipFlops

            Also from that webpage:

            Personal property taxes provide a significant source of income to local jurisdictions. This car tax relief was possible because the General Assembly agreed to subsidize local governments and the Commonwealth has routinely subsidized 70% of the tax on the first $20,000 of annual assessed value on eligible vehicles. Vehicles valued at $1,000 or less were fully subsidized.

            Surrounding counties (Fairfax, Prince William, Alexandria, etc) do not discriminate on the type of vehicle you have when distributing the tax relief.

        • G

          What I hate about this discrimination is it doesn’t take into account the actual fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Hybrid SUVs and some larger hybrid sedans don’t get better mileage than small non-hybrid vehicles. My honda fit gets up to 40 MPG on the highway and over 30 in the city, much better than hybrid SUVs.

    • NorthAdams

      it is a tax on property. you don’t have to pay the tax. sell your car.
      it used to include home computers, all boats (still covers most), and things.

      • Sam

        “you don’t have to pay the tax. sell your car.”

        Don’t forget to pay income tax on the money you made from the sale of the car (that you paid sales or use tax on originally). We pay tax to buy things, we pay tax to keep things, and we pay tax to sell things. Pretty soon, we’ll pay tax on these taxes.

    • “[W]hat gives VA the authority to levy this tax?”

      AWre you kidding?

      The authority derives from the Virginia Code and US Constitutional jurisprudence that gives states the power to do most anything they want as long as it doesn’t conflict with federal law.

      It’s not a “scam”, just another tax. If the revenue didn’t come from here, it would come from elsewhere.

      • Jim

        instead of replacing the revenue – you can just shrink government. novel idea, i know.

        • Sam

          If it was your job that was being cut, would you still be okay with it? I’m not one who supports having jobs just to have jobs… but remember, just because YOU may not think a particular program is important and it should be cut does not actually mean that it isn’t important.

  • KalashniKEV

    That’s funny so many people recognize it as a blatent scam, and posted at almost the exact same time.

    I suppose I’ve always had the good fortune to live in states where spending has not run amok as it so clearly has here.

    I guess it’s for a good cause though… if I ever get a dog he may want need a luxurious public resort to frolick in… and I may someday want to hop a Trolley to the Ghetto… and we can buy more Arlington Public Vehicles for the County Officials and their Amigos to roll around in!

    • Kat

      There are ghettos in Arlington?

      • KalashniKEV

        Just start walking West on Columbia Pike. When MS-13 rapes and/or murders you, you found it!

        The ACPD operates in a very passive, reactive mode which only works in a place as nice and civil as Arlington. They stay out of your way, but the problem is when crime happens, all they do is show up and take pictures.

        Case in point- Chief Scott’s stance on ACPD doing their job, and refusal to honor American sovereignty, rule of law, and the United States Constitution. (Does he have a first name? Does he not take an Oath of Office?)

        • Kat

          I used to live on the pike and never had to worry about getting raped/murdered.

          • Let’s Be Free

            There have only been two murders along the stretch of the Pike where I live. I think the police actually solved one of them.

    • Sunny617

      KalashniKEV, stop being overdramatic. The car tax has nothing to due with “spending running amok.” It’s been in place for years and has nothing to do with any current economic concerns. Do I like the car tax? No. But would I prefer to pay the $33 decal fee (I’m now under the threshold, yay!) than have higher sales tax? Yes. It all evens out–MD has no car tax but has higher sales tax than VA; TN has no income tax but has a huge sales tax. It’s no different here than anywhere else.

      I like living in Arlington because it has good schools (although I don’t have kids), parks and bike trails, walkable neighborhoods, a good police force, awesome libraries, and lots of community events, plus it’s safe and close to DC. All of that doesn’t come cheap. That’s all there is to it. If you want something different, move elsewhere.

      • JamesE

        I still think I would prefer a higher sales tax than a $1500 bill, or maybe a higher gas tax so they actually tax you on how much you drive.

        • KalashniKEV


          The tax burden should be 1/2 to 1/3 what it currently is, but I would pass that tax onto gas so that it is tied to consumption rather than levy a tax against what they presume the value of your automobile to be.

          It’s literally “Playa Tax” and just another facet of what is a blatent scam.

        • Sunny617

          $1500?? What kind of car do you drive? The highest tax I ever paid was about $150, and that was when it was brand new. Maybe if you didn’t buy a Hummer, this would be an issue.

          • JamesE

            A corvette, and clearly I should be punished for driving one

          • S. Arl 2

            I have never had a bill under $250 and my modest non-gas guzzling car is now 10 years old. I wonder what you are driving….

      • McGruff

        So in essence youre sayin’ you’ll take it in the ass as long as the penis is small?

        I grew up in South Arlington, what “good schools” are you talkin’ about? Good police force??!?!?!?!!? Safe?!?!?!!? You must live in North Arlington somewhere near Cherry dale..

        • Arlington, Northside

          Arlington’s worst schools are still better than a good school in most of the public schools systems in the world. Arlington’s Police is as good as any.

          • McGruff

            Spoken like a true North sider… Have you been to any of them? Which ones and what exactly makes them good?

        • Sunny617

          That’s a lot of punctuation, McGruff!

          Is life really that dangerous in South Arlington? Funny, all the murders and crime I hear about tend to be across the river. Heck, all the crime reports I read about on ARLNow are spread fairly evenly, and those that I do read about in South Arlington tend to be car thefts. I’ve never not felt safe around Arlington, North or South.

          I don’t understand why people who seem to hate it here so much continue to live here. I’m not talking about the people complaining about the tax, I’m talking about people like you who blatantly can’t seem to find one thing right about living here.

          • McGruff

            Maybe ARLNow can start doing some stories in South Arlington?! Do some of the hot-spots like Hi-Cue billiards or Restaurante El-Salvatore! Maybe snap some pics of the indigenous population on Buchanan St.! Or better yet, do an expose on the Illegals living in the trees like ewoks under the bridge on Columbia Pike!

            Its not about feeling safe Sunny, its about being taxed to fill the coffers of people like Walter Tejada and his merry band of illegal aliens. You dont make ANYTHING better by adding illegal aliens to it, do you?

          • McGruff for county board president.

            We should start the McGruff write-in campaign for county board president.

  • mark

    How will the county even know if the car is parked in arlington or not (ie bunches of other cities / counties in VA don’t use the decals).

    • Texas Wahoo

      If you park in an apartment garage, they will send you a letter demanding that you pay it.

      • PurpleFlipFlops

        I’ve seen lots of apartment garages full of out-of-state plates. I think the tax is absurd, and even though I pay mine I don’t feel the need to report others or think they are “stealing” from others who pay.

        Let’s face it. This area is transient and lots of people don’t plan on living her forever. Why should Scotty or Patty who graduated college and may still have a car from their parents, registered to their parents, with their parents home-state have to re-register their car (which is a lot of trouble) because of this stupid car-tax?

        • Arlington, Northside

          Well they drive on our roads that will be plowed by our snow plows this winter. They walk on our sidewalks maintained by that tax. They live in a nice area with pretty good paying entry level jobs. Why should they get away with avoiding the tax/fee that so many others do pay?

        • Texas Wahoo

          “I’ve seen lots of apartment garages full of out-of-state plates. I think the tax is absurd, and even though I pay mine I don’t feel the need to report others or think they are “stealing” from others who pay.”

          As was my apartment garage. However, I received a letter in the mail demanding that I get a sticker. They didn’t care what state the car was registered under.

    • KalashniKEV

      Parking enforcement records your plates and the time/location. Over a period of 90 days if they spot you in our town several (I think 3) times, they send you a bill.

      It happened to my friend from TX.

      • Josh

        I do believe that their pulling of your name, address etc. is a violation of the law as you are technically not committing a crime unless they can show that you are here for the full 60 days.

        • Arlington, Northside

          They record the vehicle info, they have no need to research the owner until the time limit is reached.

      • a’town

        yeah this is rare though and most likely will occur if you’re parking on the street or have out of state plates. if you have a car with a VA plate but its registered in another county and you park in a garage, its much easier to not have to register in arlington

        • Arlington, Northside

          Not very rare at all, just not regular or consistant.

          • a’town

            rare 1 (râr)
            adj. rar·er, rar·est
            1. Infrequently occurring; uncommon: a rare event;

            how is that different from “just not regular or consistant”??

            come on bro

      • Mark

        BS. We had a guy across the street who did not have a decal and had out of state plates and parked on the street for over a year. Reported him twice to the county (he was an asshole who thought that a public street afforded him his own personal parking spot) and they never did anything about it. I see out of state cars parked for months on the street and nothing is ever done. I have seen cars with Maryland plates parked here for the past year and no consequences.

        • Arlington, Northside

          You sure they never got him and he just ignored or paid the ticket? Or that he might be military or Congressional employee exempt? Or maybe he just happaned to be gone on the days/times ACPD stopped by. My new neighbor just got a ticket in July for not changing his New Jersey plates and getting a sticker.

          • Mark

            I would have heard about it if they would have got him. And no he wasn’t an exempt employee.

      • PurpleFlipFlops

        So if a friend is visitng from out of town for say a week — they spot you on day 1, day 3 and day 4. That’s 3 times in 90 days. They ticket you?

  • JamesE

    Hopefully they set up another decal check on fairfax dr during rush hour, really great idea.

  • Raika

    Maybe someone can help answer a questions for me. I bought a car while in collge but it is technically owned by my father who lives in Farfax. I moved to Arlington for grad school so now the car is normally parked here in my apartment’s lot. My father pays the taxes on the car in Fairfax (with the money I give to him for it). Do I need a decal? If the car is registered in Fairfax, and the legal owner of the car lives in Fairfax will they even give me one?

    • Arlington, Northside

      If the car resides in Arlington, it is supposed to have its taxes paid to arlington. It is where the car lives, not the owner.

      • Arlington, Northside

        I forgot, if you are a FULL TIME student you do not need the sticker.

        • Raika

          Actually just about to graduate, but i’m staying here. So, I have to register the car before I can get the sticker right? How does that work since it’s not technically my car?

        • PurpleFlipFlops

          Can you point me to this exception? I’ve never seen it when reading Arlington’s website. Of course I can see them trying to hide this little bit of information.

          • Arlington, Northside

            It is a Commonwealth Rule/Law/Exception

  • Susan

    I received two out of three stickers and tax notices for my cars. I called a few weeks ago and she said she would mail a new one but it would take 2 weeks. I was also told that they had extended the deadline that you have to have the sticker on the car until Nov 30.

  • yeah.

    thanks ArlNow for the heads up- I still need to may my taxes and get my decal- which I wasnt sent because I had outstanding parking tickets. seash.

    seriously- great reporting- its awesome how you give heads up for the things like this- you dont get this anywhere else.

    Thanks again

  • Dirk

    I heard that Vespas are taxed at a different rate than the other scooter type moter scooters. Why is that? I also find it hard to drive with the decal on the visor of my helmet.

    • KalashniKEV

      That actually got me thinking… is there a bicycle sticker? We need to start taxing all these stupid bikes.

      You should get a refund when Tejada’s Amigos steal your Huffy!

      • MB

        Oh, look, another gun-obsessed libertarian tea bagger who will insist he’s not a racist.

        Seriously, dude, Somalia’s a libertarian’s paradise. Super low tax burden, too!

      • S. Arl 2

        I think there should be a sticker for bicycles-aren’t they personal property too? Don’t the Arlington County citizens pay for all the trails, new sidewalks, bicycle racks, etc? Since the increase in the car decal ($25 to $33) is supposed to be paying for improvements for the cyclists (wider multimode sidewalks, trails etc.)they should have to register and pay for their “vehicles” too.

  • Sheila

    Paid my personal property tax and the one outstanding parking ticket. But didn’t get my county sticker, and worried that I would get ticketed starting Monday. Found out they’d applied the parking ticket payment to the tax, so I had a credit on tax and no tix payment. Called and they transfered the credit to the balance and said they’d mail the sticker. I asked if it didn’t arrive by Monday and I was ticketed whether I would have to go in to contest the ticket? The woman paused and said, I suppose so. She got the irony.

    • bob

      you’re just lucky one of Walter’s people spoke English to you. It is getting hard to communicate with them

      • Doug

        I’ve been lucky so far; only had it happen twice in two years that it was “what did you say?” or “can you repeat that, I don’t understand what you just said.” It pissed them off (which wasn’t my intent) but what was I to do?

  • Katie

    The tax itself doesn’t bother me. My bill is usually around $225. What does bother me is having to go through the administrative details of registration, emissions/safety (should be once every two years for BOTH), the decal payment, etc. and it all doesn’t happen at the same time even.


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