Chatham County's 2014 tax bills to arrive by mid-August

Aug. 15, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

Chatham County residents can expect their 2014 property tax bills to arrive in mid-August, according to the county's tax administrator. 

The county's tax rate remains at 62.19 cents. The deadline to pay 2014 property taxes is Jan. 5, 2015.

Chatham County Tax Administrator Frances Wilson said that it is important for taxpayers to carefully review their tax bills after receiving them. If they identify problems or do not receive their tax bills by mid-August, they are advised to contact the Tax Office as soon as possible at (919) 542-8250 or (919) 542-8260.

In some cases, taxpayers will receive one bill covering both real estate property and personal property (such as a boat or mobile home), while some will receive separate bills for different types of properties. It will not include motor vehicles, as these are billed by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when they send out registration renewals.

For residents living outside incorporated towns that offer municipal waste collection, the county property tax bill includes the county's annual Solid Waste Fee, which remains the same as last year. The fee has two components:

The Collection Center fee is charged to all residents who live outside the incorporated towns. Residents may be eligible for an exemption from the fee when the residence is not habitable or has been vacant for more than two years. To be eligible for the fee exemption, taxpayers must file an application with Chatham County Solid Waste and Recycling by Jan. 5, 2015. Fees will not be waived if applications are received after this date. An insert in the tax bills explains the services provided for the fee.

The Disposal Fee is charged to all residents living outside incorporated towns who do not have a private waste hauler. Residents with private haulers should contact them to make sure they are listed on the information their hauler turns into the Tax Office.

The deadline to appeal real estate property tax values has already passed, but taxpayers may appeal the value, location or taxability of personal property within 30 days of the date posted on the tax bill. Personal property includes mobile homes, boats and motors, airplanes, unlicensed vehicles or business personal property.

“It is important for people to know that deadlines to appeal real property and personal property values are set by state law and are not negotiable at the county level,” Wilson said.

Taxpayers are billed for any personal property they owned as of Jan. 1, 2014.

“If you owned a boat on Jan. 1 of this year and sold it the next month, you still owe the full year of personal property taxes for that boat,” Wilson said.

Real estate property taxes also are billed based on Jan. 1, 2014 ownership, but if the property is sold a few months later, the attorney handling the closing usually requires the seller to pay a prorated share of taxes, with the buyer paying the remaining balance.

“We strongly encourage the seller to send the property's 2014 tax bill to the new owners immediately to avoid problems with delinquent taxes,” Wilson said.

The Tax Office offers several methods to pay taxes, including the chance to pay in installments. The public can pay taxes in partial payments by either mailing them to P.O. Box 697, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312 or by visiting the Tax Office in Pittsboro in the Courthouse Annex. If making a partial payment, please include the tax ID account number, found on the tax bill, on all payments.

Taxpayers may set up installment payments beginning in August, but all payments must be received by the Jan. 5, 2015 deadline, as required by state law. Those who do not pay in full by this deadline will be subject to additional charges and enforcement procedures.

“It is very important for customers wishing to pay in installments to begin as soon as they receive their tax bill and not wait until December or when the bill becomes past due,” Wilson said. The Tax Collector's staff will begin reviewing accounts in January and will begin enforcement procedures earlier than in the past.

For more information on tax payment options, including payment by credit card, e-check or bank draft, contact the Tax Collections Office at (919) 542-8260 or visit www.chathamnc.org/Index.aspx?page=479.

Wilson reminds residents that, as of 2013, motor vehicle property taxes are collected by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles when they bill for vehicle registration. Counties no longer bill for these taxes.