07/22/14 — County gets ready to send tax bills

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County gets ready to send tax bills

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 22, 2014 1:46 PM

The Wayne County Tax Department is just weeks away from mailing out some 72,000 tax bills for real estate and personal property, which includes mobile homes, boats and items like that, and for personal business property such as business equipment.

"We are in the process of trying to get ready for our annual billing," Tax Administrator David Ward said. "I am not sure at this point exactly when, but it will probably be early to mid-August when we will get the bills out."

Taxes are due Sept. 1, but are not delinquent until after Jan. 5.

People will have until 5 p.m. Jan. 5 to pay their tax bill without interest.

Failure to pay by the Jan. 5 deadline incurs a 2 percent interest fee. Then the first of each following month an additional three-quarters of a percent is added until the bill is paid or it is added to any outstanding balance if a person is paying it in parts.

Bills can be paid in person at the tax office on the first floor of the Wayne County Courthouse Annex. There is drop box located on the Ormond Avenue side of the courthouse where the payments may be dropped off also.

Bills can be paid online and by phone. However, those options carry a fee collected by the company that provides the service. The county does not receive any revenue from the fee.

"The fee is normally 2.65 percent of the amount paid, with a minimum of $2, I believe," Ward said.

"If you go through that process, either through the phone or online, it tells you ahead of time what the fee will be, and you can opt out of that at anytime," Assistant Tax Administrator Alan Lumpkin said. "In other words, you are not stuck."

People can also remove the bottom portion of the bill, write a check and mail it in.

However, bills that are mailed must be postmarked by the U.S. Post Office no later than Jan 5. Office postal metering is not acceptable to show proof that the deadline was met, Ward said.

Lumpkin said the tax office is often questioned about the Charlotte return address on the tax form.

"It is goes to a lock box and basically the bank processes it for us," he said. "It goes straight to the bank and is deposited the next day. Most of the bills you pay go to Charlotte or Atlanta."

It is a more efficient way to handle the billing, Ward said.

Lumpkin noted that Eureka and Faro fire departments merged to form Northeast Wayne and that New Hope and East Wayne merged to form New Hope W.

That means that people who live in those fire tax districts will see a different name associated with their fire tax, he said.

For example, people in Faro area are used to seeing Faro Fire District on the bill. This year it will be listed as Northeast Wayne, he said.

People also question why fire tax is levied on farmland, Lumpkin said. The fire tax is applied "on everything" whether it is a house, mobile home, vacant land or even vehicle, he said.

The tax department handles the billing for all of the five districts and all of the county's municipalities with the exception of Walnut Creek, which does its own tax billing.

The county tax rate is 66.65 cents per $100 of property valuation.

Municipal tax rates per $100 of property valuation are: Goldsboro, 65 cents; Fremont, 65 cents; Mount Olive, 59 cents; Eureka, 70 cents; Pikeville 60 cents; and Seven Springs, 54 cents.

Walnut Creek's rate is 38 cents.