Lucky, Lucky Me

When I moved from Georgia to Washington D.C., I discovered that Virginia did things a little different. They wanted you to pay property tax on your car and to get a county sticker. I knew I wouldn’t be staying in D.C. long so I decided to ignore the whole thing. I was warned that Virginia cops actually look for out of state tags, but I didn’t listen. I moved away in 2004 and thought I had nothing more to worry about.

A month ago, my dad (who lives in KY) got a call from the Arlington County Tax Commissioner looking for me. I debated, but finally decided to call them back. They wanted $174 in backtax for my Pathfinder. I spoke to probably seven people to find out that my apartment complex turned in my car and the fact that it was registered out of state. The woman told me I could argue the fee, but I had to specify the exact dates the car was housed in Virginia, the car registration, and the residence registered with my insurance company. I might could have fudged all but that last one. Darn it.

Then I told her I had sold the car in February of 2005 and didn’t have the car registration anymore. The lady informed me I could contact the TN DMV, but she would stop the account as of February. (She needed no proof for this so why didn’t I just tell her I sold it in January of 2004?) She informed me I would also be getting a bill for January of 2005.

I still hadn’t decided whether I would pay it. They couldn’t come hunt me down in Georgia and they didn’t have my new last name. I did submit the paperwork to show I left Virginia in July of 2004 and asked for an adjusted amount.

Three weeks later I got two statements in the mail. The one for 2005 showed that no money was due and the account was closed. The statement for 2004 showed the original amount, the amount adjusted to 7 months, and then showed that I had overpaid by $30.10. (No where on this statement was the $174 they originally told me I owed.)

My dad suggested I try to get the $30 out of them, but I think I will just count myself lucky and hope they don’t look at it twice. I love the government!

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