The following guide provides summaries on the various revenues collected by the City and an explanation of the City's modified accrual accounting procedures. Click on any of the links in the Quick Guide to view information on any specific revenue type or explanation.
Real Property Taxes: Real property taxes are assessed as of January 1 and assessment notices are mailed to property owners in February. Real estate taxes are billed and payable in two installments. The first tax bill is mailed in May and is payable by June 15. The second tax bill is mailed in October and is payable by November 15.
Personal Property Taxes: Personal property tax revenue consists of two sources: individual personal property (primarily vehicles), and business personal property (includes motor vehicles, machinery, computers, and furniture). Taxes are assessed as of January 1. Tax bills are mailed to taxpayers in late August and are due on October 5. The State’s share of the local personal property tax payment for FY 2010 was capped at $23.6 million. In FY 2010, this amount will cover approximately 73 percent of most taxpayers’ bills. It covered approximately 69 percent of most taxpayers’ bills in FY 2009, which was the same rate that was provided in FY 2008.
Local Sales and Use Tax: Businesses remit sales tax to the Commonwealth within 30 days of the end of the month in which sales occurred. The Commonwealth wires the City’s portion of the sales tax approximately one month later.
Communications Sales and Use Taxes: Businesses remit the communications tax to the Commonwealth within 30 days of the end of the month in which the service occurred. The Commonwealth wires the City’s portion of the communication tax one month later.
Business License Taxes: The City’s business license tax is due March 1. These collections are counted and analyzed in March. Most collections prior to March represent collections from taxpayers who pay on a quarterly basis.
Tobacco Taxes: Businesses remit cigarette tax revenue to the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board. This revenue is then forwarded to the City approximately 30 days after the end of the month in which the sales occurred.
Revenue from the Federal Government: Includes reimbursement for federal prisoners held at the Alexandria Detention Center, and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Aid (SCAAP)
Revenue from the Commonwealth: Includes Compensation Board reimbursements for public safety and finance functions, payment made to jurisdictions with Police Departments (H.B. 599), and aid for road maintenance.
In accordance with accounting and reporting requirements established by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and the Auditor of Public Accounts for the Commonwealth of Virginia (APA), revenues collected by the City's agents before June 30, 2010, but not actually received by the City until July or August, are counted or accrued as FY 2010 revenues. These accrued revenues will include:
- Sales Tax collected by merchants in May and June, forwarded to the Commonwealth in June and July and remitted to the City in July and August;
- Consumer Utility Tax billed by the utility companies in May and June, collected by the utility companies in June and July and remitted to the City in July and August;
- Communication Tax billed by the applicable companies in May and June, collected by the utility companies in June and July and remitted to the City in July and August;
- Transient Lodging Tax revenue collected by Alexandria hotels in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Restaurant Meals Tax revenue collected by Alexandria restaurants in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Tobacco Tax revenue collected by the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Real Estate Recordation Tax revenue collected by the Clerk of the Circuit Court in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Admissions Tax revenue collected by Alexandria merchants in June and remitted to the City in July.
The GASB also requires the City to recognize certain General Fund revenues when they are "measurable and available." Tax revenues are deemed to be "measurable" when they are levied, and the APA has defined "available" to include tax collections within 45 days of the fiscal year end. Accordingly, fiscal year end revenues in the following categories will eventually include collections through August 15:
- real property tax
- personal property tax
- property tax penalties and interest payments, and
- business license tax