Chatham County mails 2012 tax listing forms

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

With the arrival of 2013, Chatham County residents can expect to receive their 2013 property tax listing notices in the next few days, officials have announced.

The Chatham County Tax Office mailed annual listing notices to residents this week, according to Tax Administrator Frances Wilson. Any Chatham County property owners not receiving their listing forms by Friday, Jan. 6, should contact the tax office immediately at (919) 542-8250.

Wilson said taxpayers also are encouraged to review their property cards online at www.chathamnc.org/taxoffice or visit the tax office to verify information on file.

Officials encourage taxpayers to pay special attention to the following:

Again this year, the tax listing forms should be returned to the county’s processing center location in Mount Airy. This streamlined system provides more timely and efficient handling of listing forms than is possible mailing forms directly to the Chatham County Tax Office.

Beginning this year, businesses may visit our website at www.chathamnc.org/Business-Listing to request listing extensions, or they can continue to use the service of Taxscribe at www.taxscribe.com to request listing extensions and submit listings electronically. Some services provided by Taxscribe may require users to pay a convenience fee. Review the inserts included in the listing form mailing for more information on these services.

The listing forms will be emailed to those who registered last year to receive the forms electronically using Estatements. This will help with efficiency and reduce cost of postage and printing. Those who did not register for this service last year and would like to can visit www.Chathamnctaxstatements.com and enter the tax registration ID printed on their listing forms. Please review the inserts included in the mailing for more information or contact the tax office at (919) 542-8250.

Personal Property Tax Listing: According to North Carolina law, those owning personal property in the county as of Jan. 1, 2013 (with the exception of licensed motor vehicles) are required to list property with the Chatham County Tax Office by Jan. 31, 2013. Personal property includes unlicensed vehicles, boats, mobile homes, airplanes, motors, and any business personal property used in the production of income.

The listing period runs from Jan. 3, 2013 to Jan. 31, 2013. Any listings received by the county after this period will be subject to a late listing penalty equal to 10 percent of taxes owed.

Property Tax Relief for the Elderly and Permanently Disabled: Under North Carolina law, the elderly and permanently disabled may apply for property tax relief if their annual income is no more than $28,100. For those who qualify, a portion of the appraised value of their permanent residences may be exempt from property taxes.

The exempted portion is either $25,000 or 50 percent of the appraised value of the home, whichever is greater. For example, if a qualifying person owns a $60,000 house, only $30,000 of the house will be subject to taxation.

To qualify for relief, a property owner must have an income of $28,100 or less in the preceding year and must be either age 65 or older or must be totally and permanently disabled. New applicants for this tax relief must apply by June 1, 2013.

Those who received the exemption last year and still meet the requirements do not have to reapply for the exemption unless their place of residence has changed. Property owners who no longer meet the requirements of the exemption must notify the tax office.

Those who are responsible for listing the property of someone who is deceased and who had qualified for the exemption last year must notify the tax office.

Property Tax Exemptions: Under state law, real estate and personal property used for certain religious, educational, or other purposes may qualify for a property tax exemption. Owners of property receiving the exemption now do not have to reapply for the exemption, unless:

· The use of the property has changed;

· The owner has purchased additional property; or

· Improvements have been made to or removed from the property.

The deadline to apply for this exemption is Jan. 31, 2013.

Land Use Deferments: Under state law, land that is actively used for commercial agriculture, forestry or horticulture production may be eligible for reduced-rate taxation. Contact the Tax Office for more information on “land use deferments.” The deadline to apply for deferments is Jan. 31, 2013.

Unpaid 2012 Property Taxes: Tax bills mailed in 2012 for real and personal property are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2013. Interest will accrue on unpaid tax bills starting Jan. 8, 2013. Normally, the final date for payment without interest is Jan. 5, but the deadline was extended this year due to that date being on a Saturday when the office is closed.

Once the bills become delinquent, the tax office can begin collection procedures for late tax bills, including advertising unpaid real estate property taxes at an additional cost to the taxpayer. Unpaid real property taxes for the year of 2012 will be advertised in the newspaper in the current owners’ names.

Other collection procedures include garnishing wages (removing taxes from paychecks), attaching funds from bank accounts and income tax refunds, and foreclosing on property.

Contact tax collections at (919) 542-8260 with questions regarding the payment of taxes. For more information about any of the items listed above, or taxes in general, please contact the Chatham County Tax Office at (919) 542-8250 or (919) 542-8260.