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Commissioner of Revenue Tax Glossary

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Office of the Commissioner of Revenue Tax Glossary

lilsealThe Commissioner of the Revenue, located in the County Administration Building in midtown Bedford, is an elected Constitutional Official chosen by the voters of Bedford County and serves a four-year term in office. The commissioner if the Chief assessing officer of local government.

Our mission is to serve the residents of Bedford County by offering tax services that are fair and equitable. Our local tax programs are administered to educate and assist the public in community tax assessment and involvement.


All motor vehicles (including cars, trucks, trailers, motor homes, motorcycles), boats, airplanes and mobile homes normally garaged, docked or parked in Bedford County are subject to tangible personal property taxation. Within 10 days of purchasing a motor vehicle or moving into Bedford County, all residents are required to register with the Commissioner's office. DMV registrations are essential and notification must also be given when a vehicle is sold or moved from the county. Proration is determined by these dates. NADA is the recognized pricing guide used to determine values.

The tax on the first $20,000 of value of your personal car, motorcycle, and pickup or panel truck under 7,501 pounds, which is a qualifying vehicle, is reduced by 44.5% for tax year 2018.  The locality receives reimbursement from the Commonwealth of Virginia for the tax amount relieved.  For qualifying vehicles valued at $1,000 or less, the full amount of tax is relieved.

Qualifying vehicles are those, which are:
1. Automobiles, motorcycles and pickup trucks with gross weight 7500 pounds or less; and 
2. Owned or leased by natural persons who are responsible for the payment of the personal property tax; and
3. Predominantly used for non-business purposes.

Non-qualifying vehicles are those, which are:
1. Any other vehicle not listed above and trucks with gross weight greater than 7500 pounds; or
2. Owned or leased in the name of a business; or
3. Used in a business and matching ANY of the following items:
a. More than 50% of the mileage for the year is for business purposes and is deducted for Federal Income Tax purposes or reimbursed by an employer; or
b. More than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle is deducted as a business expense; or
c. The cost of the vehicle is expensed pursuant to #179 of the IRS Code (which by definition requires 50% or greater business use); or
d. The vehicle is leased by a natural person and used for non-business purposes but the lessor pays the personal property taxes through a contractual agreement.

-Equipment owned on Jan. 1 and used in a trade or business is subject to property taxation. Machinery & Tools is equipment used by a manufacturer in the production of goods. All classifications are assessed at 100% of original depreciated cost and a complete asset schedule, showing original cost and date purchased is necessary to receive depreciation. The deadline for filing is May 1.

Assessment information and tax maps are kept and maintained electronically for each parcel of real estate. Information concerning ownership and the assessment of each parcel, as well as the tax maps, can be accessed from the county's web page. Reassessment of all properties occurs every 4 years and values are determined by sales studies.

Land Use Tax Deferral - Tracts of land in excess of 5 acres devoted to agriculture or horticulture and timberland of 20 acres or more may be eligible for some deferred tax. Criteria for the requirements of this program can be obtained by calling 540-586-7626. Applications are accepted between September 1 and November 1 of each year.

A tax of 4% must be collected on all foods prepared for consumption, whether eaten on or off premises and the beverages served with this food. The tax must be remitted by the 20th of the following month on forms provided by the Commissioner of the Revenue. Registration is required with the Commissioner's office prior to beginning business. Additional details and regulations may be obtained by calling 540-586-7621.

Bedford County imposes a transient occupancy tax of 5% of gross receipts. This tax must be collected from individuals who rent facilities for less than thirty (30) consecutive days. This would apply to cottages, houses, condos, bed and breakfasts as well as motel rooms and campgrounds. The tax must be remitted by the 20th of the following month on forms provided by the Commissioner of the Revenue. Registration is required with the Commissioner's office prior to beginning business. Additional details may be obtained by calling 540-586-7621.


Persons 65 or older or permanently & totally disabled with annual household income under $37,500 and net worth less than $100,000 may be eligible for partial exemption of real estate taxes on their primary dwelling parcel. Annual application is required between January 2 through February 28.

The Commissioner of the Revenue is linked with the Department of Taxation to allow direct entry of returns into the system. Locally filed returns are carefully screened for accuracy and keyed the same day for quick refunds. ( delete - Those with label changes may expect refund in 4-6 weeks.) The Commissioner's office provides assistance in the filing of Va. Individual Income Tax returns.