A delinquent property tax bill led the Wayne County Tax Office to garnish Goldsboro Councilman Mark Stevens' council paycheck.
The tax office lists Stevens as owing $1,479.29, a mishap Stevens said happened after he did not receive the paperwork notifying him that the bill was due on his property at 1104 E. Walnut St.
"I assumed that when you pay your yearly taxes, that's when you pay the property taxes," Stevens said. "That's the way it worked in California, so I thought that was how it would work in this state.
"The tax office said they sent the documents to me, but they never ended up in my mailbox."
He said the tax office instead sent the tax documents to the person he and his fiance were purchasing the property from. Stevens, who represents District 3 on the Goldsboro City Council, recently lived on Herman Street.
The property tax payment on the Walnut Street home was due in September, with the tax debt in early January. By Jan. 6, the taxes became delinquent. Ten percent of Stevens' biweekly council paycheck will be garnished until the debt is paid in full, said Alan Lumpkin, Wayne County tax administrator.
Stevens' wages started being garnished on June 26, with the first payment of $57.63 removed from his paycheck. Stevens said he has begun making payments on his own as well. County tax records show that $57.63 has been paid to date.
Stevens faced the potential of having his wages garnished a year ago after the tax office flagged an unpaid vehicle tax bill. The tax office sent Stevens a letter requesting payment for nearly $400 in unpaid taxes for a vehicle in 2008 and 2009. At the time, Stevens said he contacted the tax office the same day he received the letter and made arrangement to pay off the bill.
He said he was not aware of the tax debt, and was under the impression that his former wife had previously paid the debt. Stevens paid off the taxes in 2017, according to tax records.
"I pay my taxes," he said, at the time. "I pay my bills."