December 27, 2012

Assessor to Use Vehicle VIN Numbers

When county residents submit their personal property accounts next year to the county assessor's office, there will be a new place on the forms to enter the vehicle identification numbers (VIN).

"The state has been after us to do this for a while," said Scotland County Assessor Jim Ward. "It isn't mandatory yet, but we are going to get started with the transition this year."

Ward is asking patrons to bring vehicle VIN numbers with them when they visit his office to complete the annual property lists, which are required to be completed by March 31st of each year.

According to state statute 137.115, "The assessor of each county and each city not within a county shall use the trade-in value published in the October issue of the National Automobile Dealers' Association Official Used Car Guide, or its successor publication, as the recommended guide of information for determining the true value of motor vehicles described in such publication."

The transition will allow assessor's offices across the state to standardize assessments for vehicles.

"It is also going to save us a lot of steps," Ward said. "When we enter the VIN number into the computer, it is going to tell us exactly what the vehicle is, including all the features that impact its value."

With standard values and no way to overlook added features that impact value, the state points out the transition will insure that all taxpayers are on an even playing field.

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