McKay requests more resources to combat car tax evaders

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1,150 cars with Maryland tags were added to the car tax records in the last fiscal year, according to Fairfax County.

Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay has requested $1 million to create eight new positions in the Fairfax County Department of Taxation (DTA) to find residents who are avoiding paying car taxes by not registering their out-of-state vehicles.

The new positions would be part of a “field team” that would look for out-of-state plates throughout the county, mostly on evenings and weekends, according to a press release issued Wednesday by McKay. The new funds would also go toward improving technology and database tools for the DTA.

“This problem is a chronic one, and one that my office hears about on a daily basis,” McKay said in the release. “It’s unfair to those living within the law to continue to ignore vehicles improperly stored in the County without proper registration.”

The county says that more than 2,500 new vehicles were added to the county’s tax records database in the last fiscal year alone through already-existing enforcement programs, resulting in $2.5 million in addition revenue. Of those 2,500 out-of-state tags, 1,150 were from Maryland.

“We’ve made tremendous progress, but we still have a long way to go,” McKay said in the release. “I’m committed to combating this and, with the help of the police, sheriff, and County staff, am confident we have the tools in place to make it happen.”

The new positions would be paid for with money from fines collected through the county’s compliance enforcement program and would have a net cost of $0, according to a budget document on the county’s website.

This is not the first time the county has made a push to crack down on vehicle owners who live in the county but drive cars with out-of-state tags. McKay was behind a push for stepped-up enforcement in 2015, and in 2016 the county introduced a website that allows residents to report vehicles with out-of-state tags.

Not all residents with out-of-state tags need to register their cars in the state. Those exempted include:

  • Military personnel temporarily living in Fairfax County
  • Full-time college students
  • People visiting family members
  • Diplomats
  • Vehicles with government license plates

McKay’s proposal, which is part of the county’s “carryover budget proposal,” will be voted on after a September 25 public hearing at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

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