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New Advertising Requirement for Delinquent Tax Liens

July 17, 2024

The Machinery Act has long required counties to advertise their delinquent real property tax liens in local newspapers each spring.  GS 105-369. I’ve discussed the advertising process here and here and here.  While newspaper advertisements seem a bit outdated in … Read more

Collecting Taxes from Co-Owners

June 26, 2024

When property is owned by a single party, it’s easy to determine who is personally responsible for delinquent taxes.  It’s the owner as of the date of delinquency (usually January 6) and all subsequent owners.  GS 105-365.1. But what if … Read more

Who Gets the Tax Bill?

May 15, 2024

Assume Tina Tarheel sells her house at 123 Main St. to Billy BlueDevil in July 2024.  Two months later, Carolina County prepares to mail its 2024 property tax bills. Who should get the bill? Tina? Billy? Both? The Machinery Act … Read more

How Do Counties Respond to Revenue-Neutral Tax Rates?

April 30, 2024

The revenue-neutral tax rate (RNTR) exists to allow taxpayers to determine if their county has increased or decreased its total property tax levy following a county-wide reappraisal of real property. The RNTR is the property tax rate that would generate … Read more

Occupancy Taxes and “Tourism-Related Expenditures”

April 4, 2024

Nearly 200 North Carolina counties and municipalities levy occupancy taxes. Almost all of them are required to use some percentage of their occupancy tax revenues for “tourism-related” expenditures.  Last week our state courts issued their first appellate opinion examining exactly … Read more

Supervising the Tax Office

January 23, 2024

The Machinery Act makes it clear that the “governing board” (aka the board of county commissioners or the city council) has the sole authority to appoint and remove both assessors and tax collectors. GS 105-294 and -349.   But the statutes … Read more

How to Resolve Taxpayer Listing Mistakes

December 14, 2023

Imagine that the Wonka Chocolate Factory is the largest employer in your county.  They list substantial amounts of business personal property (“BPP”) for taxation every year.  In January 2023, Wonka lists BPP totaling $65,000,000, which is roughly $25,000,000 more than … Read more

The Religious Exemption from Property Taxes

October 18, 2023

The religious exemption created by G.S. 105-278.3 may produce more difficult questions than the rest of the Machinery Act combined.  This post summarizes the religious exemption’s legal requirements and tries to answer some of those thorny eligibility questions. Ownership and … Read more

Did the U.S. Supreme Court Rein In Property Tax Foreclosures?

September 14, 2023

Foreclosure can be an effective but potentially harsh tax collection tool for local governments. A judicious, equitable, and consistent foreclosure program can get abandoned property into the hands of more responsible owners, spur delinquent property owners to pay old tax … Read more