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The Truth About Vehicle Taxes In North Carolina

By: Nichole Jaworski
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(Photo by: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

(CBS Charlotte) — Recently, the state of North Carolina implemented the ‘Tax And Tag’ Together Program, a program that requires North Carolina residents to pay their motor vehicle tax and their registration fees at the same time.

The ‘Tax And Tag’ program, which began earlier this month, prohibits motorists from being able to register their vehicle in the state of North Carolina — until their car taxes are paid. Previously, motorists in North Carolina were able to register their vehicle after getting their car inspected — and then they would receive a car tax bill a couple of months down the road.

Under the new ‘Tax and Tag’ Together Program, North Carolina residents don’t have the option of registering their vehicle prior to paying their car tax bill — a move that may have been due to the high rate of delinquency on vehicle taxes.

In Mecklenburg County, anywhere between 30 to 40 percent of residents are delinquent on their car taxes. Residents cite excessive, over-assessed vehicles as the number one reason for having a past due bill. Other reasons for being late or not paying vehicle taxes include, but are not limited to, unemployment, reduced wages, or having a hard time fitting vehicle taxes into the budget.

While the ‘Tax and Tag’ Together Program sounds logical, will it work? Probably not. Here’s why:
More often than not, people don’t pay their bills not because it is a choice, but because they do not have the money readily available to make the payment. Therefore, since they cannot afford to pay their vehicle taxes, they will be left with little options in terms of getting their car registered.

The ‘Tax and Tag’ Together Program will undoubtedly lead to more cars on North Carolina roadways that are unregistered. Furthermore, if the motorist is pulled over and is issued a ticket for having an expired registration, the motorist will be assessed a fine that again, they cannot pay.

For motorists who receive what they believe to be an outrageous tax bill, they should be aware that most vehicles in North Carolina are assessed too high. Moreover, when the county assesses your vehicle, they do not take things such as high mileage or any damage to your vehicle into consideration, when determining how much you owe each year for your vehicle.

Here’s what most people don’t know, you can appeal the assessed value of your vehicle. Currently, only around one percent of local residents appeal the value of their car, but nearly everyone who does appeal wins.

Want to file an appeal regarding your car taxes in Mecklenburg County? Click here.

-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte

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