Loudoun County Car Ends Windshield Decal Requirement

Scrape off that windshield—as of July 1, Loudouners and most town residents no longer need window stickers on their cars.

The Board of Supervisors last year got rid of the requirement for window decals on vehicles registered in Loudoun, substituting a $25 annual vehicle license fee requirement for the previous $25 vehicle decal fee.

The idea began as a discussion about centralizing billing and collecting taxes for the towns with the county treasurer’s office starting in 2019, with an eye toward cutting costs and simplifying things for town residents. Treasurer Roger Zurn said his staff wouldn’t be able to take on the additional workload of dealing with the stickers as well.

The county has worked out agreements with Hillsboro, Leesburg, Lovettsville, Middleburg and Round Hill to take over real estate and personal property taxes. The towns of Purcellville and Hamilton elected not to participate.

With the transition from decals to license fees, the sheriff’s office’s Project Fairness—which had deputies assigned to check for vehicle decals—has been closed. Between the cost of administering the decal program, printing and mailing the stickers, and running Project Fairness, the window stickers were estimated to cost the county about $430,000 a year. It is yet to be seen how much money the county will lose to reduced compliance with the tax law, if any.

The Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office has taken over responsibility for enforcement, using a wide range of tools such as cross-checking Department of Motor Vehicles records.

For questions about the new vehicle license fee, contact the Office of the Treasurer at 703-777-0280 or email taxes@loudoun.gov.

rgreene@loudounnow.com

2 thoughts on “Loudoun County Car Ends Windshield Decal Requirement

  • 2018-07-03 at 1:56 pm
    Permalink

    Hello? How do you eliminate a $25 fee that covered the purchase, storage, and implementation of a sticker program and yet still continue to charge $25 without the need to fund these sticker activities. Where is the integrity behind deciding not to pass this savings on to the tax payer. I was not there when this issue was voted on by the Board of Supervisors but was told by someone who was there that when a Supervisor asked Treasurer Zurn why he was continuing to charge the $25, the answer was to cover any potential loss of tax revenue from non-compliance now that there is no requirement for the sticker. So, in effect, those of us who are law abiding citizens concerning property tax payments will now be funding the taxes of those who are not? Why would any conservative Supervisor vote for this larceny of money from citizens. It simply can not be the same price to have the sticker program or not have the sticker program, this stinks to high heaven. These are the kinds of questions I would expect this paper and any others to ask the Treasurer. Secondly, my guess is that after about a year this will go down as a failed experiment and I would really be interested in seeing what the compliance rate is now that there is no county code to enforce. The word is that enforcement for the payment of property tax will now be in the form of a restriction on registering your vehicle if you have not paid the tax, meaning if you haven’t paid your taxes then you won’t be able to renew your license plates. Well, the ticket for expired tags is a prepayable fine of $25, a heck of a lot cheaper than paying property tax. This action only applies to cars that are already registered in Virginia with Loudoun County addresses, it does nothing to force new residents to switch their tags over to Virginia. One of my questions for the Treasurer would be, how will you ever collect property taxes on the thousands of vehicles that are registered out of state. Project Fairness brought in over a million dollars a year I’m told by using an enforcement program that focused on vehicles with out of state registrations. For anyone that wants a look at how big this problem is just take a ride through any apartment complex and check out how many vehicles have out of state tags, especially MD, WV, DC and PA. When school begins in the fall watch the drop off lanes that are filled with out of state tags dropping off and picking up children at our schools. If you’re attending school here, I’m pretty sure you have to live here and it’s only fair that you register your $80,000 Mercedes here and help us all pay for that school. A lot of folks have second homes or properties or family members in other states and the decal enforcement kept many from just switching their tags to other states that don’t charge annual property taxes. The fear of that $100 decal citation provided some motivation. But now, those folks are free to do just that with no effective enforcement to ensure compliance. My guess is that if the Treasurer can’t figure out a way to get compliance, that non-sticker fee is going to be higher than $25 next year.

  • 2018-07-10 at 2:24 pm
    Permalink

    Exactly. They got rid of the decal but kept the fee. Get rid of the decal AND THE FEE.

Leave a Reply