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Getting Tough on Taxes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Many taxpayers in Mecklenburg County have paid their local real estate, personal property and registered motor vehicle bills. More than $1.2 billion in tax revenue has been collected for taxes due in the current fiscal year for all jurisdictions, but there remains more to collect.

The Office of the Tax Collector has been working diligently to collect all the delinquent taxes owed to the County, City of Charlotte and other municipalities.

“It has been necessary to utilize the enforced collection remedies granted to us by state law,” said Tax Collector Neal Dixon. “A majority of taxpayers have found a way to pay although they have been affected by the current economic conditions. Those who paid should know that we are working to collect from those who have not paid.”

North Carolina tax laws empower the Office of the Tax Collector to pursue “collection remedies.” These include the following:

• Wage garnishments – The Office of the Tax Collector exercises its authority to require businesses to provide a listing of its employees for the purpose of comparing that list to the database of delinquent taxpayers. When a match occurs, the employee wages are garnished to pay the delinquent tax. Wage garnishments have been served on employers for employees in the following industries: government, energy/utilities, banking, health care and finance. Employee lists have been requested from retail companies. The practice of checking employer data for delinquent taxes is a year-round activity.

• Tax levy (seizure) – The Tax Collector recently seized the personal property of a pizza restaurant for delinquent taxes. Equipment such as ovens, coolers, preparation tables, booths, plates, trays, utensils and other personal property will be sold at auction if taxes are not paid.

• Tax warrants – The Tax Collector has issued thousands of warrants to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for the purpose of collecting delinquent registered motor vehicle taxes. The Sheriff’s Office assigns the warrants to deputies, who locate the vehicles and either collect the taxes or seize the vehicles for auction.

• Tax foreclosure – The Tax Collector refers delinquent real estate taxes to a law firm with the direction to file tax foreclosure lawsuits. Referrals are made throughout the year. Anyone who is interested in bidding on foreclosed property should call the Office of the Tax Collector at 311 or 704-336-4600 if calling from outside Mecklenburg County.

Taxpayers with delinquent bills are encouraged to remit funds for those bills immediately to avoid these and other enforcement actions that may occur at any time. The worst thing a taxpayer can do is ignore a delinquent bill. It is important to communicate with the Office of the Tax Collector and do everything possible to pay the outstanding taxes to limit interest charges and collection action.

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Media contacts: Neal Dixon, 704-336-3322,;
or Bill Carroll, 704-432-0362,

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