MML was successful in negotiating amendments to SB 478 that would have preempted municipal governments from imposing any personal property tax on car dealerships. The bill, as drafted, would also require affected municipal governments to reimburse any personal property tax collected from car dealers for the two previous fiscal years.
The amended bill that passed second reader in the Senate on Friday, removes the reimbursement clause and now specifies that municipal governments may set a different property tax rate for this sub category of personal property, if they choose. The amended bill also makes changes to the annexation process, requiring municipal corporations to notify any affected commercial property owners that may be subject to a personal property tax at the time an annexation resolution is introduced. SB 478, as amended, next moves to House of Delegates, where it will be heard by the Ways and Means Committee. The House cross-file to SB 478 remains in House Rules and is unlikely to move this late in Session.