LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Those preparing for tax season may notice it’s taking a heavier hit on their wallets, and it all has to do with the value of their cars.

Arkansans can assess their personal property, including cars, up through the end of May. Many are used to seeing the value of vehicles depreciate year after year, but in 2022, the opposite is happening.

Scott Hardin with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration says this year’s vaulting cost in value is unique, and luckily, should only last one year.  

“This is really a first,” Hardin said. “It may increase significantly. I think all of us assume that if we have a vehicle, it depreciates from year to year because that is normally what happens.”

Hardin says high vehicle demand and low stock combined with a computer chip shortage creating a nation-wide vehicle scarcity is what’s leading to the increase in value. On average, those assessed for this tax season have seen a year-to-year increase by an average of 20%.

“You say, ‘there’s no way this is accurate,’ and in fact it is,” explained Hardin.

It’s not just cars: boats and ATVs are also seeing a rise in value, leading to a heftier property tax when it comes time to pay.

But, Hardin explains, not everything is set in stone, and vehicles that have been through extraneous circumstances may plead their case.

“If the car was flooded last year, let them know that,” said Hardin. “If it happens to have 300,000 miles on it, let them know that because they may have authority to adjust that.”

He adds vehicle value is consistent across the state, so one county assessor will have the same number as another.

Cars need to be assessed by May 31st to avoid a fine, and Arkansans will have until October 17th to pay the property tax.