08/27/10 — Wayne tax bills in mail

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Wayne tax bills in mail

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 27, 2010 1:46 PM

A sure sign of fall began arriving in mailboxes across the county over the past week -- the 2010 property tax bills.

All told, Wayne County mailed approximately 72,000 tax notices, most of which should have been delivered by now, county tax officials said this morning.

Not receiving a tax bill doesn't mean property owners are off the hook, the officials said.

"They have all been mailed and anyone who doesn't receive their tax notice by the end of September can just give us a call and we will send a statement," said Assistant Tax Administrator Alan Lumpkin.

Although not normally a problem, there can be cases where bills are lost or misplaced through the mail, he said.

Taxpayers have until Jan. 5 to pay without facing interest charges. Wayne, unlike some counties, does not offer any discount for early payment of tax bills.

There are several options people have to pay their taxes. They may be paid in person at the tax office on the first floor of the county courthouse annex, by mail or online.

People who don't receive a notice can also look up their taxes on the tax office Web site as well. Go to the county Web site at waynegov.com, click on departments and select tax office

Those who pay by mail must ensure that the envelope has an official U.S. Postal Service postmark for Jan. 5 for it to be considered on time. Office postal meter stamps are not sufficient.

Taxes that are one month late are subject to a 2 percent interest charge. An additional three-quarters of 1 percent is added on the first day of each succeeding month on any unpaid balance.

Along with the county taxes, the county tax office also collects taxes for all county municipalities, except Walnut Creek.

The county tax rate is the same as last year at 76.4 cents per $100 worth of property.

The bills sent out thus far represent a levy of $41 million to $42 million. That total will increase to about $45 million once the county receives the public service notices from the state.

The state calculates the tax bills for such public services such as Progress Energy. The county will send those notices out in a supplemental mailing.

Tax officials said they also continue to collect back taxes by garnishment of wages, bank accounts and can foreclose on property, although that is normally a last resort.

Other methods of collecting the late taxes include attaching state tax returns through the state debt setoff program as well as lottery winnings.