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May 1 , 2013



The Catawba County Tax Office is announcing to motor vehicle owners that the method for collecting motor vehicle taxes will change later in 2013 as a new State law takes effect. Counties will no longer be responsible for sending motor vehicle tax bills or collecting motor vehicle taxes. That responsibility has been shifted to the North Carolina Division Of Motor Vehicles by the State legislature.  The State has now announced a delay in that change from July 2013 to September 2013.

“Under House Bill 1779 ratified by the North Carolina General Assembly, the State of North Carolina has created a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and property tax collection system,” said Mark Logan, Catawba County’s Tax Administrator. “The legislation gives the responsibility for motor vehicle property tax collection in all North Carolina counties to the North Carolina Division Of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). These changes should make things more convenient for motor vehicle owners because their license tag registration renewal and motor vehicle property tax bill will now be on a single form mailed at the same time from NCDMV. The new system will allow motor vehicle owners to make one payment for both.”

All motor vehicle owners whose mailing address is current will receive what NCDMV is referring to as a “Tax and Tag Notice”, listing both vehicle registration fees and taxes due, about 60 days before that vehicle’s registration expires, just as in the past. The new system is now scheduled to be phased into effect with vehicle registration renewals due on September 1, 2013.  All North Carolina vehicles are expected to be in the new system by August 2014.

State vehicle registration renewal fees will remain the same, according to NCDMV. The increase in the statement from NCDMV, from past years, will reflect the amount of property taxes owed on the vehicle. North Carolina law requires that vehicle property taxes be paid in full in order for the license tag renewal to be paid. That law will not change with the new system of property tax collection by the State. The due date for property taxes owed on vehicles will be printed on the new combined notice motor vehicle owners will receive in the mail. The tax amount due for county/municipality/fire district/tag fees (when applicable) will also be noted. Taxes due on the new notice will be for the coming year, covering the same time period as the vehicle registration.

State law requires that interest be added to any late vehicle property tax payments and on late registration fees.

Vehicle property taxes on leased motor vehicles must be paid in full at the time of renewal and are not paid to the leasing company. A copy of the combined tag and tax notice is not sent to the leasing company.

For more information about the upcoming change in the collection of motor vehicle taxes in North Carolina, you may visit or call the Catawba County Tax Office at 828-465-8400.