With the new changes to the North Carolina Tag and Tax system, I have received several questions from concerned citizens about registering and paying their vehicle taxes. Therefore, I wanted to take a moment to outline some of the major changes to the new Tag and Tax system, provide some information on policies related to tax values on older vehicles, including state and county requirements, and programs to help senior citizens with taxes.
First, let’s look at the new state Tag and Tax system. In September 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly created a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and tax collection system. For citizens, this means that your vehicle taxes will be due when you renew the tags for your vehicle at the Division of Motor Vehicles. By June 2014, all North Carolina vehicles will be enrolled in the new system. There has been some confusion about the process because information about the new system has been provided to citizens, but they are still receiving bills from the Robeson County Tax Office. Simply put, if you renewed your tags before September 2013, then you were not entered into the new system and taxes would still be paid to the Robeson County Tax Office for this year. However, the next time you renew your tags, you will be expected to pay your taxes at the same time as the renewal. If you have an outstanding tax bill for 2013, when you try to register your vehicle in 2014, you will be required to pay both the outstanding tax bill for 2013 and the new tax bill for 2014. If both are not paid, you will not be able to register your vehicle.
As for antique cars, any car over 35 years old is valued as a restored antique. If the vehicle has not been restored, residents can appeal the value by filling out an application with the Robeson County Tax Office, which includes submitting photos of the vehicle. In addition, the vehicle must be registered as an antique with the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, it is not enough to just register with DMV, but the car must meet all of the requirements set by the North Carolina state statute for antique vehicles. These requirements are detailed in the application for appeal. Though owners of antique vehicles only need to fill out an application one time for each vehicle, they must provide new pictures of the vehicle every two years. If the vehicle is deemed as a restored antique and meets all of the state statutes for antique vehicles, the tax bill for the vehicle will be less than $5 per vehicle.
Many citizens are not aware of the tax programs that can benefit the elderly. If you are 65 years of age or older and a North Carolina resident with an income of $28,600 or less, you may be eligible to receive the North Carolina Elderly exclusion for Robeson County. The exclusion is for $25,000 or 50 percent of the appraised value of a permanent residence owned and occupied by a qualifying owner. For married applicants residing with their spouse, the income of both must be included, whether or not the property is in both names. Also, if you are 100 percent disabled and your income is $28,600 or less, then you too may qualify for the disability exemption. There is no age requirement for the disability, only an income requirement. If you are a veteran and 100 percent disabled with an honorable discharge or an unmarried surviving spouse, then you too may qualify for a reduction of $45,000 off the value of your residence. There is no age or income requirement for this benefit. Applications may be obtained by contacting the Robeson County Tax Department or by visiting the Robeson County website at www.co.robeson.nc.us. Then click on the link to the NC Forms on line.
More information about this policy and other tax questions can be obtained by contacting the Robeson County Tax Office at 910-671-3060.