When we lived in Arlington County, residents there often referred to the local government as the “Peoples’ Republic of Arlington.” Arlington’s government is, if nothing else, aggressive when it comes to collecting taxes.

So aggressive, in fact, that they try to collect taxes you don’t owe for years after you leave the county.

Last year, we received a letter from Arlington County demanding payment of personal property taxes on our three cars for 2005, which was odd since we lived in Floyd County fulltime in 2005 and paid taxes on our cars to our home county government.

It took multiple letters, several phone calls and the intervention of Floyd County treasurer Dorinda Thomas to finally convince the Arlington County Commissioner of Revenue that we did not owe personal property taxes on cars registered in another county and they cleared the claim. Four months later, we received tax refunds from the county for taxes paid in 2004 because the Treasurer’s office in Floyd discovered we had paid taxes in both counties in 2004 and provided the proof to Arlington County.

I thought the matter was closed until recently when the Commonwealth of Virginia sent us a notice saying we couldn’t renew the license registration on one of our cars because of a hold placed by – you guessed it – Arlington County.

After multiple phone calls – again – to Arlington, I discovered the hold stemmed business taxes on a business that doesn’t exist and for years I haven’t lived in Arlington County.

Shortly before deciding to leave Arlington and move fulltime to Floyd, I registered a DBA for a new business enterprise. However, the decision to move changed our plans and the business never opened. I returned the DBA registration to Arlington just before we moved.

That however, didn’t stop Arlington from, in our absence, levying taxes on the non-existent business for 2005 and 2006 – the years that we have lived and operated businesses in Floyd.

I’ve sent letters and documentation to Arlington showing we neither lived in the county nor operated the business in question. So far, no answer. Meanwhile, the registration on one of our cars comes due at the end of next month.

On Monday, I sent a registered letter (return receipt required) along with an email (again with a return receipt) with a PDF file of my letter attached.

Let’s see if that gets the attention of the People’s Republic of Arlington.