IT'S TAX LISTING TIME

Chatham begins process of collecting tax listings, revaluation

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 1/3/19

While taxes may not be the buzz-worthy topic, they affect every citizen of Chatham County, and the calendar has turned to a crucial time for Chatham taxpayers. Tax bills mailed in 2018 are due by 5 p.m. Monday, and 2019 listing forms are due on January 31.

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IT'S TAX LISTING TIME

Chatham begins process of collecting tax listings, revaluation

Posted

Jenny Williams just started as Chatham County’s tax administrator a month ago, but she says she’s already learned so much about the job.

“There’s so many areas within the office,” she said. “I think the public probably thinks just collections, but there’s more to it than just collections.”

While taxes may not be the buzz-worthy topic, they affect every citizen of Chatham County, and the calendar has turned to a crucial time for Chatham taxpayers. Tax bills mailed in 2018 are due by 5 p.m. Monday, and 2019 listing forms are due on January 31.

Properties required to be listed include all real property, unlicensed vehicles, trailers with multi-year registrations, mobile homes not designated as real property, all types of water and air craft and items used in a business. Business property includes items used for farming, any trade or profession and furnishings or appliances provided to a tenant.

Williams answered some questions from the News + Record about the ins-and-outs of taxes, common complaints the office receives and why property taxes are important.

How can I pay my taxes?

Chatham County residents can go to the tax office at the county government complex at 12 East Street in Pittsboro and pay via cash, check, money order and credit card, with the latter requiring a service fee. Citizens can also mail in their payment or visit ustaxdata.com/nc/chatham to pay online. They can also make payments toward next year’s taxes.

What about my collection center decal?

All Chatham County residents pay their solid waste fees when they pay their property taxes, giving them access to the county’s collection centers. That information is then forwarded to the Solid Waste and Recycling division of the Environmental Quality office, who mails out the decals.

Are there any property tax exclusions or deferrals available?

Yes, there are two.

For 2019, citizens age 65 or older or citizens totally and permanently disabled may receive an exclusion if they have an income not exceeding $30,200. Applications must be filed by June 1 and can be received by calling 919-542-8250.

The state of North Carolina has a Present Use tax deferral program that affects units of agricultural, horticultural and forest land of certain sizes. Agricultural and horticultural land must have produced an average gross income a $1,000 per year over the last three years, and the land must be the owner’s place of residence or owned by the current owner or a close relative for the last four years. For more information or further questions about this program, contact Present-Use Valuation Specialist Cynthia Campbell at 919-545-8327.

What if I haven’t made any changes to my property in the last year?

You still are required to return the listing form mailed to you signed, affirming that the listing is true and complete. If you did not receive a listing form and have made a non-permitted change valued at more than $100 or need to change the registration status of a vehicle, call the Tax Office at 919-542-8250.

Why does the county list property in the first place?

N.C. General Statute 105-285 requires that all property subject to ad valorem taxes be listed annually. Property taxes make up 60.3 percent of Chatham County’s general fund budget.

“That is the most revenue-generating portion of what keeps the government running,” Williams said.

When is the next revaluation?

Williams said the county contracted with Vincent Valuations to begin assessing property for the county’s next revaluation in 2021. All real property in the county will be re-assessed and possibly given a new value, which could change the amount of taxes paid on those properties.

Beginning this month, Vincent Valuations will visit all properties in the county to start the revaluation. The inspectors will wear Chatham County ID badges and have county decals on their vehicles. If residents are not home when the inspectors conduct their assessment, a door hangar will be left.

“It makes sure that your value is where it should be,” Williams said. “The sales data could change in your area, so that way (with the revaluation), it keeps it fair and equitable.”

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