Chatham County’s 2013 tax bills to arrive by mid-August

Jul. 31, 2013 @ 04:57 AM

Chatham County residents can expect to receive their 2013 property tax bills to arrive no later than mid-August, according to Chatham County Tax Administrator Frances Wilson. The tax rate remains at 62.19 cents. The deadline to pay 2013 property taxes is Jan. 6, 2014.

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, 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.

For residents living outside incorporated towns that offer municipal waste collection, the county property tax bill includes the county’s annual Solid Waste Fee. The county allows an exemption from the fee when a residence is not habitable or it has been vacant for more than two years.

To be eligible for the solid waste fee exemption, taxpayers must file an application with Chatham County Solid Waste and Recycling by Jan. 6, 2014. Waste 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 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, 2013. “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, 2013 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 2013 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, NC 27312 or by visiting the Tax Office in Pittsboro in the Courthouse Annex. If making a partial payment, please include your tax ID account number, found on your tax bill, on all payments.

Taxpayers may set up installment payments beginning in August, but all payments must be received by the Jan. 6, 2014 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,” said Wilson. 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 the following website: www.chathamnc.org/Index.aspx?page=479

Wilson reminds residents that a major change in motor vehicle tax billing is coming as of Sept. 1, 2013. Due to revised state law, Chatham County will no longer bill vehicle owners for county taxes owed. Instead the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles will bill and collect these taxes at the same time they bill and collect the vehicle’s registration fee.