By Elsa Maxey
Let’s say you opted to rent a car for personal use instead of buying one. Right now, your name with the vehicle’s corresponding VIN number will show up on the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District’s (CAD) website as a taxable property listing. But, you are not subject to paying a tax if the rental is for personal use and not business use.
CAD Chief Appraiser Glen Whitehead confirmed this on Monday. But, that’s not really a “Star” reader’s concern. Asking that her name be withheld, she not only wants to find out why the CAD has this listing, but she wants it removed altogether. “To me this information should be private,” she maintains noting that she understands that the information needs to go to the tax department, but not on its website as public record.
For credit bureau matters, she said questions like one’s address and the car you own or lease are asked. “Now, why does Fort Bend County do this and none of the other counties?” She said Fort Bend County shows Toyota and Honda leased information.
The CAD is merely complying with state law, explained Whitehead, who acknowledges that Harris County has a different system in operation. Whitehead also said that all car leasing companies send lists of vehicles rented, which are placed on the tax rolls, and a provision clearly exempts personal use individuals from a property tax. “With security of identity theft these days no one needs my VIN #, nor what car I have posted on (the) internet for all to see,” maintains the reader.
With a resolution underway, Whitehead said the CAD is currently working on removing the names of those leasing vehicles for personal use off its public records this year, which will be effective thereafter. “Sounds like a lady we spoke to three weeks ago,” he said in response the reader’s claim that no one called her back to clarify the matter. He believes she understood the CAD’s explanations, but probably did not like them.