08/20/06 — County tax notices to be mailed this week

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County tax notices to be mailed this week

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on August 20, 2006 2:05 AM

Wayne County residents can expect to see a reminder in the mail later this week from the county tax department.

Property taxes are due Sept. 1, but residents can pay their bills without interest before Jan. 5, tax administrator David Ward said. Interest begins to accumulate Jan. 6.

Although some residents choose to pay their bills early, that isn't usually the case, Ward said.

"Some people pay right when they get it, but others just wait until the end of the year or right up to the deadline. That's just the way it is," he said.

Whether a homeowner paid early or late, the tax department collected about $39 million from the 2005 tax season and should collect about the same this year, Ward said.

The tax department has been working since January to create a list of anyone with personal property and locating any personal property that should be listed for the upcoming collection period. This allows the department to begin generating tax bills, which are sent to the public as notices.

The notice contains the person's name, address, acreage value, any exemptions and the amount owed, assistant tax administrator Alan Lumpkin said.

The county's tax rate, which was increased 7.5 cents by the county's Board of Commis-sioners last year, is 73.5 cents per $100 worth of property.

The tax rate, along with how much the property owner owes, will be on the notice, Ward said.

The county property tax includes any real property and any home improvements or renovations. Personal property includes mobile homes, unlicensed vehicles, boats, motors, aircraft and watercraft. Business personal property is also taxable in Wayne County and includes assets and supplies of businesses, farm machinery and equipment and rental household property, Ward said.

Residents will also find additional taxes on their notice, such as their local fire district tax. Some municipalities prefer to tax residents separately, but Goldsboro, Fremont, Mount Olive and Eureka will be included on this year's notices, Ward said.

For those who want to pay their bills early, they can do that with their credit cards via the Internet or by using a toll-free number, which are both included on the notice, Lumpkin said. Residents can also mail in their payments instead of waiting in line at the tax office, which is located on the first floor of the county courthouse.

People even have the option of dividing their taxes into monthly payments, as long as the total tax is paid before the January deadline.

"You don't have to wait until you get your bill. After paying taxes for a while, you should know about what your taxes are. You can prepay starting in January, and those payments are taken off of the amount when the notice is sent out. You can spread it over an 11- or 12-month period," Ward said. "It's easier to make monthly payments than to have to pay a lump sum at the end of the year."

If residents don't pay their taxes by the deadline, a 2 percent interest charge will be added on the tax for the first delinquent month and a 0.75 percent interest increase each additional month, Ward said.

Once the price increases, Ward said residents usually hurry to pay their taxes before the next month's increase.

By the end of last December, only 62 percent of taxpayers had paid their bill. But, by the end of January, that percentage had jumped to 92 percent, tax collector Tammy Peele said.

For more information on taxes and payment options, call the Wayne County Tax Department at 731-1461.