ELIZABETHTOWN — The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is teaming with the North Carolina Department of Revenue to collect your vehicle taxes.
The new program, called “Tax and Tag Together,” will take effect in September. The initiative will integrate an individual's vehicle tax assessment with the annual vehicle registration fee, said Lyons Gray of the N.C. Dept. of Revenue.
In the past, residents have paid their vehicle tax assessments at the Bladen County Tax Office, but that will no longer be the case, according to Bladen County Tax Administration Deputy Director Renee Davis. Now residents will pay their tax assessments on their vehicles to the DMV office when they pay to renew their vehicle tags.
Davis said that instead of getting the traditional tax notice from the Bladen County Tax Administration, the tax assessment for their vehicle will now be printed on their vehicle tag renewal notice.
“You'll pay it straight to DMV and we get an upload each month from DMV,” said Bladen County Tax Collector Carol Cain.
Both Davis and Cain said that the goal is to increase the tax collection rate.
Cain added that, if there is some type of discrepancy or if the individual wishes to appeal the assessment, they will have to come to the Bladen County Tax Administration Office at the courthouse to do that.
“All appeals, adjustments, things like that we will still handle,” said Davis.
Cain said that the tax office is “live with DMV” so any changes or updates made to the tax assessments, the DMV office will be able to see and access the changes as soon as they are entered into the system.
Davis said DMV charges the tax office $1.69 per bill for collection services.
“Once they collect it (the vehicle tax), once per month DMV will send a check to Bladen County for the amount of taxes collected for that month,” said Davis.
If you pay your bill late, the interest is added on both the taxes and the tag, said Davis.
“If you are delinquent, you will come to the tax office and pay the delinquent amount — then you will have to pay this year's taxes at DMV,” said Davis. “You actually pay your taxes a year ahead.”
“For some of our tax payers, what they are used to is to pay their vehicle taxes just before they renew their tags,” said Bladen County Tax Administrator Chris Ellis. “They are going to get caught in that pay and pay again scenario. It is supposed to be renew your tag, then pay your vehicle taxes.”
Ellis also said folks need to understand that DMV will not accept partial payments. For those used to paying online that option is still available said Ellis. Folks can go to DMV's website and pay their vehicle renewal and taxes there.
Ellis if you purchase a new vehicle from the dealer, the process may look slightly different.
“When you go to a dealer, normally you don't apply for the tag, the dealer does all of that,” said Ellis. “Now when you go to the dealer, you required to pay the vehicle tax at the dealer up front. If you don't have it all then, the dealer will give you a 30 day tag with a T on it.”
Ellis said the T is to let law enforcement know that the taxes have not been paid on the vehicle yet. After 30 days, the tag is dead and if you are stopped by law enforcement, then they can take appropriate actions for the taxes still being owed on the vehicle.
Ellis said once the taxes are paid, then you will be given a new sticker to cover that T sticker.
Ellis said that “Tax and Tag Together” has been discussed off and on since 2005.
“It's a work in progress,” said Ellis.