The Virginia Watchdog
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What are these Treasurers thinking about by publishing confidential "Personal Property Tax" info on the internet? Paying a bill online is one thing but...
The Virginia Watchdog has discovered that more Virginia Treasurers are putting CONFIDENTIAL "Personal Property Tax" records on the internet and allowing that private information to be accessed with only a SSN. Instead of just being able to pay a bill online by using an account number, the Treasurers are allowing the vehicle information including year and make, VINs, model number, and history of personal property tax payments to be seen by ANYONE who has your SSN and last name - which could include debt collectors, ex-spouses, ex-partners, employers, banks, etc. And SSNs are so easy to come by in the Court Clerk's records that legislators all over this country are allowing to be put on the internet ( See these examples of court records.) Read previous story about the Treasurers...
In addition to Culpeper's Treasurer David Dejarnette, Westmoreland's Treasurer Elizabeth Nash, and Fairfax's Tax Administrator Kevin Greenlief , there are only a few others putting this information at risk and in doing so may be committing a Class 2 misdemeanor as stated in COV 58.1-3 F . They are FREDERICK County, GILES County, LOUISA County, and SHENANDOAH County and those Treasurers are all putting this information at risk by publishing it on the internet and only requiring the SSN to get to it, while most Treasurers only allow the bill to be paid and no one gets to see the confidential information.
After all shouldn't someone know what cars, boats, motorcycles, buses, etc that they own? And if they have their bill, all the vehicles would be listed on that so why does the information have to be online and put at risk?
For Westmoreland County, here is the direct link: Personal Property Inquiry (this link is currently broken) but this link is up... Yearly Personal Property Taxes Paid which also shows vehicles, boats, etc. and the amount of taxes you paid and for what vehicles
For Frederick County's PP tax records (C. William Orndoff, Jr - Treasurer), once you click onto that site then click on "Inquiry Options" like you would for Culpeper and Westmoreland in the left column under the
county's seal and then Personal Property (PP) Public Inquiry. When you get to the next page, click on the "Social Security number" bar which will take you to the page where ANYONE who comes up with YOUR SSN can get into your confidential Personal Property Tax records. Or you can just click here to get to
Personal Property Public Inquiry and to see taxes paid click here Yearly Personal Property Taxes Paid
For Giles County's PP Tax records (Gerald W. Duncan, Treasurer), once you get into the site, click on "Inquiry Options" under County seal and then PP Public Inquiry since this site is just like Frederick's site. Then click on the "Social Security number" bar and you can see anyone's information whose SSN and last name you happen to have... or click here Personal Property Public Inquiry or here Yearly Personal Property Taxes Paid
For Louisa County (Gloria C. Layne, Treasurer), once you get into this site , then under "View Tax Information", click on "Personal Property. Then on the next page click on Social Security number... Or just click here Personal Property
For Shenandoah County (Cindy A. George, Treasurer), once you get into the site, click on "Inquiry Options" over under the County seal OR just click on Personal Property Public Inquiry in the box in the middle of the page or just click here and enter a SSN and last name of someone who lives in that county. Or just click here: Personal Property Public Inquiry
And here is link to Prince Williams' site which is doing the same thing... With someone's SSN you can get into the records.... Here's what they say on that website... "The eXpress Tax system is used to manage your personal property tax records with Prince William County. You can verify your vehicles, report that you have moved, add or dispose of a vehicle, make a payment, review your payment history or request a decal."
But what any of the above people don't tell you is that ANYONE with YOUR SSN like an ex-spouse, debt collector, employer, cop, debt collector, etc. can also use your SSN to get into the records which are not supposed to be "published, disseminated," etc. per Virginia law.
(Note: Fairfax also in addition to the SSN is asking for the last four digits of the VIN of the car, but anyone could look thru someone's windshield to get that...)
(c) 2003 Ostergren, P.C. (Page Format Only)