Property Tax Collection
Annual Tax Notices
Annual tax notices for real estate and personal property are mailed in early July, a 2% discount is allowed from July 1 through August 31. The taxes are due as of September 1st and the last day to pay before they become past due is January 5th the following year. Should January 5th fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the payment period is extended to the next business day. If you do not receive your tax notice during July, you will need to contact our office to make sure we have your current mailing address. Registered motor vehicle notices are mailed monthly (for additional information refer to Registered Motor Vehicles).
Real Estate Taxes
Real estate taxes are generally the legal obligation of the owner of record as of January l. However, in the case of a transfer of ownership, N.C.G.S. 105-365.1, effective for the 2006 taxes and years forward, now transfers the liability for unpaid taxes on real property to the "owner of record" on the date the taxes become delinquent and any subsequent owner there after. Ordinarily, taxes are prorated at the time of the transfer of ownership. To determine if your taxes were prorated and paid at the time of closing, review your closing statement or contact your realtor/closing attorney. If you want to ensure that you have no tax liability, you may want to request that tax payment be made to the Tax Collector's Office at the time of closing. If the current year taxes are not yet due, we will accept prepayments based on the previous year's rate.
The real estate property tax notices are mailed to the owner as of January 1 and if we have received information from a mortgage company that there is an escrow account, then a record of those taxes are mailed to the proper company. Past due real estate and personal property taxes are charged a 2% penalty as of January 6, and accrue an additional 3/4% interest monthly until paid in full. Past due Registered Motor Vehicle Tax Bills are charged a 5% penalty on the first day of the month that they become past due and accrue 3/4% interest monthly until paid in full.
Unpaid Property Accounts
North Carolina General Statutes requires all unpaid real estate property accounts for the current year to be advertised in all local newspapers at least once and as early as March 1, in the name of the property owner on the date the bill became delinquent. Advertisement cost are added on each parcel after advertisement. Past due taxes are subject to enforcement measures including, but not limited to, garnishment of wages, attachment of bank accounts, levy on personal property, attachment of North Carolina Income Tax refund, foreclosure on real estate, and registration blocks for registered motor vehicles. Enforcement measures will begin immediately after the due date.
To avoid interest or penalties, payment must be in the Tax Collector’s Office or postmarked by January 5. If payment is not postmarked, it is deemed to be received when it is actually delivered to the Tax Collector’s Office. To avoid penalties, we urge taxpayers to mail earlier to avoid the possibility that the mail is not delivered within the deadlines. All checks should be made payable to the Lincoln County Tax Department. According to N.C.G.S. 105.357 and 105.358 a local resolution was adopted which authorized the penalty set for submitting worthless checks at $25 or ten percent (10%) of the amount of the check, whichever is greater – subject to a maximum of $50, plus any additional interest due and plus any criminal penalties provided by law. Partial payments are accepted for the current year tax from the time the notices are mailed and until they become past due.
There are five different ways to pay your taxes:
- You may visit our office.
- You may mail your payment.
- You may use the drop-box located in front of our office.
- You may use your credit card by calling this toll-free number (1-877-261-6081). A convenience fee is charged for processing the transaction.
- You may pay your taxes online. A convenience fee is charged for processing the transaction.