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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

AUGUST 22, 2003

TAX COLLECTOR TO MAIL PROPERTY TAX BILLS

Charlotte, NC- Mecklenburg County property owners will soon find a tax bill or mortgage letter in their mailbox. On August 27, the Mecklenburg County Tax Collector will mail tax bills to approximately 289,000 property owners and mortgage companies.

Tax bills are mailed directly to those who pay the bill - property owners or mortgage companies with which taxes are escrowed. Property owners who escrow their property taxes with their mortgage companies will receive a notification from the Tax Collector. Owners should review the notice carefully to avoid errors.

Property tax payments must be paid on or before January 5, 2004, to avoid interest charges. If mailed, the payment must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before that date. Property owners whose payments are postmarked on or after January 6, 2004, will be charged 2-percent interest for the month of January 2004 and an additional ¾-percent every month thereafter until paid. All unpaid taxes will be advertised in The Charlotte Observer and an additional advertising fee will be added to each bill.

There are several ways to pay your tax bill:

· By Internet: Log on to http://paytax.charmeck.org and use your credit/debit card.*

· By phone: Call 1-877-533-0072 and use your credit/debit card.*

· By mail: Mail your check using the return envelope in your tax bill.

· In person: Pay at the Tax Collector's office at the Robert L. "Bob" Walton Plaza, 700 East Stonewall Street in Charlotte between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Make checks payable to the Mecklenburg County Tax Collector.

*There is a convenience fee assessed when using the credit/debit card option. Credit/debit cards are not accepted at the Tax Collector's office.

Taxpayers with questions about their bill, property listings or real estate valuations can E-mail the Tax Customer Service Center at mecktax@co.mecklenburg.nc.us or call 704-336-4600 between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Phone lines are typically busy in the weeks after tax bills are mailed, so callers are asked to be patient.

Some Delayed Bills: As is normal in a revaluation year, fewer than 10 percent of property owners will not receive their tax bills in the initial mailing on August 27.  This is because their property assessments are not finalized due to revaluation appeals, new construction in 2002, land changes in 2002, or the new SWIM (Surface Water Improvement and Management) buffer ordinances. As the remaining appraisal work is completed, additional tax bill mailings will occur. Property owners whose revaluation appeals are not resolved by December will have the opportunity to prepay all or part of their estimated tax bills to avoid interest charges.

What is taxed? Property taxes are levied on real property (land and buildings) and personal property (boats, aircraft, income-producing business personal property, and unlicensed motor vehicles, etc.) The Tax Collector bills licensed motor vehicles annually, based on the monthly registration data from the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

Mecklenburg County: The countywide tax rate for FY2004 is $0.7364 per $100 assessed valuation. Tax bills for property in the unincorporated areas include an additional law enforcement service district tax rate of $0.1679 added to the countywide tax rate. The law enforcement service district tax funds police service in those areas. It is based on the percentage of County residents who live in unincorporated areas. Residents of Charlotte and the six towns pay their share of police service costs through property taxes levied by their respective municipalities.

Of the $0.7364 countywide tax rate and other local revenues, nearly half - 48% - is for education services. Approximately 45% is used to support Charlotte-Mecklenburg School funding (capital and operating expenses). County services comprise approximately 45% of the total locally funded expenditures. General debt service (paying off bonds) accounts for nearly 9%.  For details on how tax money is spent, log on to www.4citizenhelp.com or call the County's Public Service & Information Department at 704-336-2475.

Cities and Towns: The City of Charlotte property tax rate for FY2003 is $0.42 per $100 assessed valuation. Property within the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County's six towns are assessed a county tax rate and a city or town tax rate. The combined 2003-2004 City/County tax rate for property within the City of Charlotte is $1.1564 per $100 assessed valuation. The combined rate for Pineville is $1.0364, Matthews is $1.0314, Mint Hill is $1.0114, Huntersville is $1.0164, and Davidson is $1.0614. Property owners in the Town of Cornelius will receive two tax bills - one from the County, one from the Town.

Solid Waste Fees: For residential property within the Charlotte city limits, the tax bill includes two solid waste fees. The Charlotte solid waste fee is $45 for a single-family residence or $27 for a multi-family residence. The solid waste fee pays the disposal costs for trash collected in Charlotte. The County solid waste fee of $12 is used to pay for recycling and waste reduction services. Tax bills for all residential property within Mecklenburg County, except that which is located in Matthews, will include the County solid waste fee.

Tax notices are mailed to the owner of record at the address shown on the listing as of January 1, 2003. According to North Carolina law, failure to receive a tax bill does not invalidate the tax or interest charges.

Tax Contact Information
Customer Service Center 704-336-4600
   (including Tax Collector, Tax Assessor, and Solid Waste)
Business Tax Collection Division 704-336-6315
   (for business licenses, room occupancy, prepared food and beverage and vehicle rental taxes)
Business Personal Property Listing/Assessing 704-336-6382
Individual Personal Property Listing Assessing 704-336-6394



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