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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fiscal year?
The fiscal year for the County is July 1 to June 30. This annual financial year is distinct from a calendar year and is mandated by the State of North Carolina.

Is the County audited?
State law requires the financial records of Catawba County be audited each year by an independent auditing firm. The opinion letter from this firm is included in the County’s annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The CAFR can be viewed at the County’s website at and additional copies are available at the Finance Department and local libraries.

What is the County tax rate?
How does this rate compare to other counties in North Carolina?
For the year beginning July 1, 2016 the current tax rate is 57.5 cents per $100 property valuation. This rate is the 7th lowest of urban counties (population over 100,000) and 26th lowest of all 100 counties in North Carolina.

Where do my tax dollars go?
The largest use of local County funds is for Education, currently 44.6% of property and sales taxes. Other uses of revenue are for Human Services (10.5%), Public Safety (26%), Economic and Physical Development (12.3%), Other (6.6%).

How do I pay my taxes?
Tax payments can be made by mail, telephone, online, or in person at the Government Center. More information can be found at the website of our tax department or call 828-465-8414.

What are the major revenue sources for the County?
Property taxes comprise 54% and local sales taxes comprise 12% of total County general fund revenues. For more information about County revenues and expenditures, we suggest viewing the County’s budget document at
or the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report at

How are the County’s funds invested?
Under the authority of North Carolina General Statute 159-30, the County invests in approved instruments only, mainly obligations of the United States Government. The objectives of the County’s investment program are safety, liquidity, and yield, in that order. Investment vehicles are chosen with the greatest emphasis on credit quality and maturity.

What is the current County debt?
What are the uses of the debt proceeds?
As of June 30, 2016 the total outstanding debt for Catawba County was approximately $14.9 million. Of this amount, 69% was borrowed for Education, generally new school construction or renovation, 21% for the detention and public safety center, 8% for water and sewer assets, and 2% for economic development.

What is the County’s bond rating?
Moody’s Investor Service rates the County’s bond obligations as Aa1 for the 7th consecutive year. Standard and Poor’s Corporation rates the County’s obligations as AA for the 12th consecutive year.

Who do I contact about my ambulance bill?
Catawba County contracts with EMS Management for ambulance billing. Most questions can be answered by contacting EMS Management at 1-800-814-5339 or online at For all other questions, contact our billing department at 828-465-8277.

How do I set up a landfill or other billing account?
Do you accept credit card payments?
Contact our billing department representative at 828-465-8277 to set up an account. Yes. The Finance department accepts credit and debit card payments.

Does the Finance department offer mortgage or automobile loans?
No. This is not a function of this department. Contact your local bank or credit union for more information.

Bob Miracle

Robert (Bob) Miracle
Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (828) 465-8215

map 25 Government Drive
Newton, NC 28658

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