By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Edgecombe County motor vehicle owners who pay their vehicle taxes late after July will be in for a rude awakening because to House Bill (HB) 1779, known as Tag and Tax Together.
HB 1779 requires taxpayers to pay their motor vehicle taxes at the same time they renew their registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Those who are late will have to pay the delinquent bill plus their current taxes.
During the county's budget planning retreat on Tuesday, Edgecombe County Manager Lorenzo Carmon warned commissioners that they will get complaints from late payers who also have to pay delinquent and current taxes. Complaints may also come because the county will not accept partial payments for delinquent taxes.
Edgecombe County Tax Collector Director Gloria Lyndaker is bracing for the impact and issued some guidelines for citizens who pay motor vehicle taxes.
"If you usually wait to pay your motor vehicle taxes when it time to renew your sticker, they are already delinquent," she said. "Under the new system, when you do go and renew your sticker, you are going to pay your delinquent motor vehicle taxes and your current motor vehicle taxes. So I stress to everyone, especially this year, it they have gotten their final motor vehicle notice they need to pay it, so that it will not hit them double after July 2013."
In an effort to help alleviate some of the double payments, Lyndaker said her staff is working on garnishing delinquent payers. Motor vehicle registrations that are scheduled for renewal in June forward will not be garnished.
The new procedure will guarantee Edgecombe nearly 100 percent collection rate and at least $500,000 for motor vehicle collection annually. The collection rate is a drastic improvement from the old rate of 66 percent. The uncollected portion was carried up to 10 years and Lyndaker said some of those funds are never collected.
As of last June 30, the county has $2.4 million in uncollected motor vehicle taxes, including $466,00 for 2012.
In an effort to make the change more customer friendly, Lyndaker has proposed a plan that will house the License Plate Agency and tax collector in the same office.
The change pertains to motor vehicle taxes only and does not affect the payment of property taxes in any way.
The new system will be phased in with the vehicle registration renewals that are due in mid-2013. By mid-2014, all North Carolina vehicles will be incorporated into the system. Once a vehicle becomes part of the Tag and Tax Together program and the taxpayer has received the combined notice, they will pay their taxes at the License Plate Agency.
Vehicles must pass an annual safety and/or emissions inspection before the registration is renewed. As in previous years, owners may have their vehicle inspected as early as 90 days before the registration renewal is due.