There was a time in ye old Virginia, when individuals were taxed on their possessions, or “tangibles.” In the 1600s, it was the Sheriff who noted a person’s chairs, beds, silver, farm equipment, and other assets. The Sheriff, too, received the tax payments. Over much time, tangible tax for individuals was eventually replaced by a vehicle personal property tax. Today, individuals no longer pay tax on their non-vehicle possessions, but businesses still do. And today, it is the Commissioner of Revenue who makes assessments, with whom you file, and who performs audits. It is the Treasurer’s Office who sends the bills for taxes and receives the payments. The Sheriff is no longer in the tax business.
Businesses must report property that is owned, leased, or in their possession in Arlington as of January 1. All Arlington County businesses must file a Business Tangible Property Tax Return with the Commissioner of Revenue each year by May 1. There are a few exempted items, and the Commissioner’s website can help you learn what those are. Payments are due each year to the Treasurer’s Office by September 5.