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"The Relay" Online Newsletter
November 2017 Issue

This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.

President's Message

There was a surprise at the last council meeting. Tom Herman, who owns several antique fire trucks, came to the meeting with a personal property tax bill for an antique fire engine. He lives in Chesterfield not far from me. Chesterfield has for years been assessing antique vehicles at $100 each. When I called the county years ago about this I was told that it was because the system lists them at that value but they are not taxed. After Tom met with current Commissioner of the Revenue McPeters (he is running for election) I now know that is not true. In fact Chesterfield assesses most antique vehicles at $100 but does not send a tax notice because the tax would be $3.60 and no tax bill for under $10 is sent. The antique fire truck is a big heavy truck and vehicles of that weight Chesterfield assesses at $1000. We don’t know why they do so. On $1000 the tax bill is $36 and Tom got a bill. He met with McPeters and I have an email from the commissioner explaining that county code does not exempt antique vehicles from exemption.

He is correct on that point as I have researched the county code and apparently when the state passed a law back in the 1990’s ending assessing and taxing antique vehicles the county never updated their law.

Recall a couple of months ago the county posted ads in newspapers stating it was going to change the county code to end the local registration tax on antiques. The General Assembly this year passed a law ending antique vehicle local registration fees. Looks like Chesterfield missed the law on the property tax.

The solution is simple – change the county code to exempt antiques from taxation. I have contacted Matoaca Supervisor Steve Elswick and asked him to help. He has contacted the county manager and the other board members. I am hoping we can get this resolved soon. It should not be a big problem as the county is not actually sending tax bills to anyone except those vehicles with a weight of 15,000 pounds or more. How many antique vehicles in Chesterfield are 15,000 pounds or more – it can’t be many so not much tax revenue is going to be lost.

Years ago I thought the battle over antique vehicles being taxed as personal property was over. I’ve contacted several localities over the years and was successful at getting them to end the tax. Now I have to work on this right in the county where I live.

This is an excellent example of why we need to change the exhaust law. Yes, I have heard from many people who say why screw with this when the police don’t bother to enforce the law. The law is right there in the Code of Virginia and after meeting with the State Police we now know:
1. Conversion from single to dual exhaust is illegal in Virginia
2. Any exhaust part that is not exactly like the OEM part is illegal
3. Any exhaust part that produces ANY noise in excess of the OEM part is illegal
4. ANY exhaust part you buy for your vehicle that does not meet OEM noise level is illegal – try and fine an muffler that is quieter than the stock factory one
5. Try and find OEM exhaust parts for any vehicle other than the most popular ones – plus where will you find OEM parts for Packard’s, Hudson’s, Nash’s, Rambler’s, etc.

This is an unjust law and it needs to be changed to update it to the reality before some police department decides it is time to begin enforcement and bring in some revenue. I’m still searching for a member of the General Assembly with the guts to stand up to the State Police and tell them they are wrong on this.

Let's end on a happy note: Thank you so much for making our car show at McGuire VA Medical Center sooooo successful!! It was wonderful & the patients loved it. Thank you also for the contributions of $206.00 to the "Veteran Suicide Awareness" program. You all are the best!!

~ Fred

4th Annual Colonial Heights Special Olympics Car Show
4th Annual Colonial Heights Special Olympics Car Show
See all the photos

Chesterfield Assessing and Taxing Antiques

This is the response Tom Herman received from Commissioner McPeters:
Mr. Herman,

Thanks for contacting us. I also appreciate what you do to preserve the old fire trucks.

The state code section that you referred to below is enabling legislation. In other words, it does not force localities to exempt antique motor vehicles, but states that the governing body (the board of supervisors in our locality) “may” exempt antique vehicles. The title of the VA code section reads “§ 58.1-3504. Classification of certain household goods and personal effects for taxation; governing body may exempt” Currently, the Code of Chesterfield County §9-60 does not include an exemption from taxation for antique vehicles.

On the surface it may appear that vehicles 25+ years old are exempt, but the reality is that we place a $100 minimum value on antique vehicles with a gross weight less than or equal to 14,999 lbs., and the $100 value does not generate a tax bill because the resulting tax is less than the $10 minimum tax required to assess and bill (per county ordinance). However, for antique vehicles with a gross weight greater than 14,999 lbs. a minimum value of $1,000 is applied regardless of age. And, these vehicles do not qualify for personal property tax relief because they exceed the 10,000 lbs. gross weight limit required by state law. So, a 30 year old truck weighing 25,000 lbs and assessed at the $1,000 minimum will be taxed at $3.60 per $100 of assessed value which results in an annual tax bill of $36.

I hope I addressed your concerns. If you have any questions please let me know.


Tim McPeters
Commissioner of the Revenue
Chesterfield County

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be Monday, January 22nd at a place to be announced in the December newsletter.

Car Hobbyist News

Late last November the EPA decided to continue to allow people to purchase ethanol-free gasoline. Gasoline blends are determined on a yearly basis and we will keep checking to see if the EPA does anything different this year. With a new administration and a new head of the EPA I believe most car hobbyists are hopeful that ethanol-free gasoline remains for sale (you've just got to find it). We can also hope that winter and summer blends of gasoline may change and that could mean better gas mileage for our vehicles.

I had someone contact me who was in the process of getting a title using the abandoned vehicle process. The problem this person was having was that DMV had decided to set a value on the vehicle and collect the Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax. Let's review this.

If someone abandons a vehicle on your property - such as a renter leaves a non-running car when the renter leaves for parts unknown - you can't just take the vehicle and sale it because it is against Virginia law to sell a vehicle unless you have title to that vehicle. State law is clear that in order to sell a vehicle in Virginia you must have a title. Virginia is a title state. If someone wants to sell you a vehicle and it doesn't have a title my advice is to tell the seller to get a title before you buy. If the person cannot get a title or refuses to get one then don't buy the vehicle. You will avoid a lot of trouble.

I'm sure there are some people who have vehicles without titles who decided to go with the abandoned vehicle process in order to get a title. Well DMV has added a twist. If you do use the abandoned vehicle process then DMV will determine the value of the vehicle and charge you the Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax (SUT tax). DMV can use an approved guide to set the vehicle value and then charge you the 4.15% tax on the "purchase". Apparently DMV doesn't want you to have the good fortune of finding an abandoned vehicle on your property and then get to own it cheap - they are going to assign a value and tax you on that value.

From the DMV website: Calculating the SUT Tax
For a transaction between private individuals, the minimum Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax is calculated based on the trade-in value given in the NADA Official Used Car Guide. You must present either an Affidavit for Procurement of Title (SUT-1A) if the vehicle is 5 years old or newer (based on the model year) or a Bill of Sale if the vehicle is more than 5 years old. (The sale price placed on a title certificate by the seller is the equivalent of a bill of sale.) A bill of sale must be signed by both the seller and the buyer to include the full vehicle description, vehicle identification number and date of sale.

Here is the state law: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/58.1-2402

You need to keep this in mind if you use the abandoned vehicle process to obtain a title. DMV will tax you on the NADA trade-in value. Although there is no state law that says you must have a bill of sale in addition to a signed by seller title of a vehicle - you need to get a bill of sale if you buy from a private person. A dealership will take care of the paperwork and obtain a title for you.

I know of several people who have been stung by the SUT tax. This is because some DMV customer service centers will look up the value of a vehicle in the NADA and then assign that value instead of the value written as the sale price on the title. Again, apparently DMV is trying to stop people from dodging payment of the full tax. If a person buys a vehicle for $30,000 the SUT tax would be $1245. Now if that person writes on the title that the purchase price was $20,000 then the SUT tax drops to $830 and they've just saved over $400. This is enough incentive for some people to break the law and put in a lower sales price. You can see how easy this would be with older vehicles because the price varies by condition - and that allows DMV to catch some people it shouldn't.

This really happened to someone I know. This guy spots a car on the side of the road with a for sale sign. He stops, looks over the car and talks to the woman who owns it. The car hasn't run for some time and it is clearly apparent the car needs a lot of work. The guy buys it for a parts car because he owns a driver that is the same make and model. He follows the law exactly and takes the title to DMV to be transferred into his name. He writes the exact amount he paid for the car on the title. DMV calls him a liar and ups the price to the NADA trade-in value. He has no bill of sale so he ends up paying more tax then he legally should have paid.

So how to you prevent this from happening to you? Every time you buy a vehicle from a private person get a signed bill of sale along with the title. Make sure everything from VIN to price to make, model, year match on both documents. Take both to DMV to obtain the title in your name. You will now have proof that you actually paid the price stated and you will be charged the correct amount of tax.

Here is the section from the code mentioned above if you are considering putting a low sale price on the title and bill of sale: "Any person who with intent to evade or to aid another person to evade the tax provided for herein, falsely states the selling price of a vehicle on a bill of sale, assignment of title, application for title, or any other document or paper submitted to the Commissioner pursuant to any provisions of this title or Title 46.2, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor."

You can download a bill of sale at this link: http://carclubcouncil.com/bill_of_sale_notary.pdf.

Steve McDonald, SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs, Passes Away

By SEMA Editors
Steve McDonald, a valued member of the SEMA executive team, passed away unexpectedly on September 26. He was 56. As Vice President of Government Affairs for SEMA, Steve was the chief association advocate on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the $41.2 billion specialty automotive industry. Over the past 20 years, he played a primary role in promoting and expanding SEMA’s government affairs missions at both state and federal levels.

Steve helped create the SEMA Action Network (SAN), with outreach to auto enthusiasts nationwide, along with the State Automotive Enthusiasts Leadership Caucus, a nonpartisan group of more than 700 lawmakers who share a common love for automobiles. He also drafted model state legislation covering issues like vehicle titling/registration, exhaust noise, inoperable vehicles, altered height and nitrous oxide. Most recently, he played a key role in passage of the federal replica car law and industry efforts to enact the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act. Steve McDonald

Among his co-workers and throughout the industry he was known as a loyal friend with a wry sense of humor and a fierce dedication to his work.

Prior to joining SEMA, Steve was a government affairs consultant for the Redding Firm, where he helped serve advocacy needs for a divergent client list. A former U.S. Department of State staffer, he served as a legislative assistant for a prominent Washington D.C.-based law firm, where he helped represent trade associations and business groups. He attended the Ecole Internationale de Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland and earned his degree in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland College Park.

The son of Vincent C. McDonald and the late Ann Noel McDonald, Steve is survived by his brother Vincent T. McDonald (Natalie), Kerry M. D'Ascoli (Gerry), John K. McDonald (Kristin); and Kelsey, Norah, Gerry, Noelle, Jack and Annie. He will also be remembered by his fiancée, Manya Petropaki, and devoted friend Marley.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.LBBC.org), 40 Monument Rd., Suite 104, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.

8th Annual Rockabilly Hot Rod Rumble Hot Rod & Kustom Car Show & Fest
8th Annual Rockabilly Hot Rod Rumble Hot Rod & Kustom Car Show & Fest
See all the photos

2018 Dodge Barracuda

Online rumors state that Chrysler is going to come out with a 2018 Dodge Barracuda either late this year or next year. Chrysler has decided to use the old Barracuda name that Plymouth used years ago. The new Barracuda will be similar to the Dodge Challenger yet different. From the internet here are some specs on the new vehicle.

The reports indicate that it is going to borrow its design platform from the 1999 Dodge Charger concept. It is, however, going to be smaller than the current Challenger.

The exterior design is close to that of Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. The 2018 Dodge Challenger is going to feature a lightweight body adopting a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber. The front end will also get some better tweaks making it appear more aggressive. You should expect redesigned LED headlights, revamped grille, and bumpers. For enhanced engine cooling, the manufacturer will add better air vents. The rear end boasts of impressive LED headlights and sporty dual exhaust pipes.

Among the standard interior features include revised dashboard with widescreen infotainment touchscreen display, satellite navigation system, premium air conditioner, automatic climate control, smartphone integration and others. When it comes to safety and driver assistance, the Dodge has not left behind great features like an automatic emergency braking system, rear view camera, parking assists, lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring system, safety belts and airbags among others.

The 2018 Dodge Barracuda will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This engine is powerful and efficient enough to enable the sedan to compete effectively against the likes of Mustang and Camaro. It is capable of delivering up to as 300 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. There are rumors that the automaker will also offer a 2.9 or 3.0 liter V6 Pentastar drivetrain. It will be paired to either 6-speed or 8-speed automatic transmission. The configuration should be either front-wheel drive (FWD) framework or all-wheel drive (AWD).

2018 Dodge Barracuda

Barracuda rear view

Clean Power Plan Repeal

President Donald Trump's administration continued its efforts to erase Obama-era climate change efforts on Monday, October 9th, when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt formally announced intentions to roll back the Clean Power Plan.

The regulation was one of former President Barack Obama's signature efforts to combat climate change and aimed to reduce carbon dioxide pollution levels 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 within the power industry.

The president, however, promised during the campaign to bring coal jobs back by rescinding Obama's job-killing regulations, and in a speech in Kentucky, Pruitt said the administration's keeping that promise.

“Tomorrow in Washington, D.C., I'll be signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule,” Pruitt said.

“That rule really was about picking winners and losers," he said. "The past administration [...] was using every bit of power, every bit of authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country. And that's wrong.”

The EPA chief added that the removal of this rule will help the agency get “back to the basics of focusing on rule of law and acting on the authority that Congress has given us.”

Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy called plans to repeal the Clean Power Act without a proper plan to tackle carbon pollution, not a “step forward” but a “wholesale retreat from EPA's legal, scientific and moral obligation to address the threats of climate change.”

Will the EPA continue to roll back what the Obama administration has done?

So far there are no changes to be made to E15 and E85 gasolines and no changes in winter and summer blends. See article below for info on blending.

Keep in mind that ethanol-free gasoline is more popular than E85 gasoline. There are over 6 times as many gas stations that offer ethanol-free gasoline than those that offer E85. The problem is finding one of them.

It will be interesting to see what the Trump administration's EPA does next.

Photos are from the 85+ vehicle auction in Farmville on October 28th. This is a 1954 Chevy Bel Air

Winter and Summer Gasoline Blends

This is information from a Popular Mechanics article on the difference between winter and summer blends of gasoline. Winter gas is cheaper to produce and pollutes more than summer gas. Below is an explanation.

What exactly is the difference between summer and winter gas, anyway? Basically, winter gas is cheaper but not as pure, and worse for the environment.

The nation has some 20 different blends of gasoline to meet overlapping state and federal guidelines. The reason for the different grades of gas comes down to trying to control VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are more likely to evaporate the hotter it gets. More VOCs equal more smog, especially in summer, when the heat in the atmosphere increases the propensity for atmospheric ozone and adding in the VOCs increases the intensity of the smog.

The different grades of gas are measured on a system of RVP, or Reid Vapor Pressure, which is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). The higher the RVP number of a particular gas blend, the easier it is to vaporize and the worse it is for the environment. All gasoline blends have to be below 14.7 PSI, which is normal average atmospheric pressure. Any number higher than that and gasoline would become a gas.

During the summer heat, the RVP of gas has to be especially low to keep it from boiling off. The EPA mandates an RVP maximum of anywhere between 9.0 PSI and 7.8 PSI for summer-grade fuel, depending on region (though you get a fudge factor of 1 psi for using gas blended with 10 percent ethanol). There are even lower RVP-rated fuels for cities like Houston, New York, and L.A. Different states and cities have their own rules based upon their seasonal temperatures—Washington state needs different summer gas than, say, Florida. That's why there are so many blends. To make it more complicated, the time for switching from summer- to winter-blend gasoline varies by state too.

Generally, the lower the RVP of a gas blend, the more it costs. For example, in winter you can blend butane, which is relatively plentiful and cheap, with gasoline. But butane, which has an RVP of 52 on its own, can't be used in summer, when it would immediately boil off as a gas. So "purer" summer gasoline is by default costlier. (And there are other factors at play too. More people travel in summer during peak driving season, for instance, putting more stress on demand.)

2018 Corvette Raffle
2018 Corvette Raffle info below

2018 Corvette Raffle

I would like to make you aware of a great opportunity to win a 2018 Corvette Stingray (valued at $60,000). Only 1500 tickets will be sold. You need not be present to win. Proceeds will go to several organizations benefiting our veterans.

I can be contacted at elliotedc@gmail.com or 804-241-9770.

Thank you very much,
Elliot Eisenberg
South Richmond Rotary Club

1950 Dodge two-door

1936 Chevy coupe

Support the RPM Act

Sign at this link: www.votervoice.net/SEMA/campaigns/45394/respond

2017 marks a new session of Congress. Bills that did not become law at the end of 2016 must be reintroduced for consideration.

Good news! The RPM Act is off to a fast start in 2017. The bill has been reintroduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The RPM Act of 2017 protects Americans’ right to modify street cars and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles, along with industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete. You may be one of the thousands of supporters who contacted your legislators about the RPM Act in 2016. We appreciate your efforts and are in need of your support once again. Tell Congress to pass the RPM Act and save racing from government threat. It only takes a minute. Every letter counts!

Protect Your Right to Buy Ethanol Free Fuel

Below is a link to Fuel Testers - a website that is opposed to more ethanol in gasoline and would like to preserve our ability to purchase gasoline free of ethanol.

1940 Plymouth sedan

1948 Nash sedan

DMV Titling Information

As promised I have a document about titling antique vehicles posted below for download. This contains information from the DMV speakers at the August 2015 meeting and some other information that I hope you will find useful. If in doubt about anything email or call the DMV administrators in the document; I have their contact information listed. And for the millionth time be sure to check to see if the VIN matches the VIN on the vehicle before buying it. This can save you a lot of trouble - just ask anyone who has purchased a vehicle without a matching VIN. There is also valuable info on purchasing an older vehicle from a non-title state. If you are thinking about buying a vehicle from a non-title state be sure to read it. Link to the document: Antique Vehicle Titling and Registration. I also have a bill of sale for use in buying or selling an antique vehicle: Bill of Sale; and a bill of sale for use if the signatures need to be notarized: Bill of Sale.

You may also find these links useful. The following link goes to the National Insurance Crime Bureau where you can put in a VIN that will be checked for fraud and theft at no cost. The link is www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck. You should do some research on the vehicle you are thinking about buying, check the VIN to make sure it matches the vehicle and of course make sure the VIN on the vehicle and title match.

The next link goes to Stolen Car Reports, another free service. At this site you can register a stolen vehicle. You can also search a zip code, city or area for the vehicles that were stolen from that area. The link is www.stolencarreports.com/report/Search.

Antique Plate Info Flyer Online

The council delegates have approved the flyer with information on antique plates and a link to it is online here: flyer opens to a new window. Council members and antique owners may print the flyer for their own reference or distribute it to those who own or are considering registering a vehicle as an antique. It will remain on the site for an undetermined time. Council delegates will review the effectiveness of the flyer at a later date.

1937 Oldsmobile sedan

1938 Plymouth Deluxe sedan

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