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Delinquent tax bills on properties fewer than last spring

More Information

  • Database: Property with delinquent taxes
  • Owe money? Here’s how to pay

    Mecklenburg County offers several ways for people to pay their bills. Learn more about the options at paytax.charmeck.org.

    •  Online: Visit http://paytax.charmeck.org. Payments are accepted via credit card or electronic check. The county uses a private service to process those payments, and the service charges taxpayers a fee for payments made by credit or debit card.

    • By phone: Call 877-533-0072 and use a credit or debit card; you will be charged the fee.

    • In person: Bring cash, a money order or a check payable to the Mecklenburg Tax Collector to the Robert L. “Bob” Walton Plaza, 700 E. Stonewall St., Charlotte, or the West Service Center, 4150 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte. Both locations are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

    •  Online banking: You can set up an electronic payment through your banking account. The entire 24-digit tax bill number must be entered in the account field, or your payment may be rejected.


  • 2012 delinquent taxes

    Property taxes often are the largest revenue source for local governments. Mecklenburg officials recently projected the county would collect $892.7 million in the taxes for the year that ends in June. Taxes are due in the fall but can be paid without interest through early January. For many homeowners, taxes are factored into mortgage payments.

    Here are some highlights of the ad:

    • The Mecklenburg ad lists some 28,308 bills, including 18,272 for homes and other real estate.

    • The average unpaid bill is $997.

    • Five bills are for amounts of $1 or less.

    • The largest bill listed in the ad is $222,255 owed by the owners of the Carrington Place Apartments on Lawry Run Drive. The bill also has accrued more than $9,000 in interest, according to the county’s website.

    A representative for JRK Investments Inc. of Los Angeles, which bought the complex eight months ago, said Thursday that officials were unaware of the bill but would look into the matter.

    He said the company had previously paid some taxes for the complex.

    “We will resolve it,” the representative said. “We always make sure that we pay our taxes so this is not something that’s going to go unresolved.”

    The company had already contacted the county about making a payment by Friday. April Bethea and Gavin Off



Mecklenburg County property taxes have come in at a slightly better rate than at this time last spring, though the largest share of delinquent bills still belong to homeowners or businesses who owe less than $5,000.

The large number of unpaid bills for smaller amounts could signal that some homeowners or small businesses may still be struggling after the recession. But Tax Collector Neal Dixon stressed the economy isn’t the only factor behind delinquencies.

At the end of March, the county had collected about 97.67 percent of taxes from bills that were first mailed last fall.

But officials are still trying to bring in nearly $31.3 million that is owed to the county, the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg’s six towns. That’s down from the $38.5 million due at March 26, 2012.

More than 28,000 of the unpaid bills are listed in an advertisement appearing Sunday in the Observer. State law requires counties to publish the notices, which are meant to alert taxpayers that they still owe money. Anyone listed in the notice are charged a fee to help cover the ad’s cost.

The 44-page ad, which includes bills that were unpaid as of March 7, lists fewer names than the version printed last spring. But it only shows the principal amount of taxes due, though the bills also have been accruing interest since January.

Also, the ads don’t list unpaid motor vehicle taxes, nor those for properties under appeal or part of pending bankruptcy petitions.

The $31.3 million in taxes that were due at the end of March does include motor vehicle lisings, and interest.

Most are smaller bills

Tax officials in some other N.C. counties, including in Gaston and Union, say bills for smaller amounts generally make up the bulk of names on their delinquent tax notices.

In Union, only 930 of the 4,275 bills on its notice published in March were for amounts greater than $1,000, said Vann Harrell, the county’s tax collections division manager.

A recent report on Mecklenburg’s delinquencies showed that about $13.8 million in taxes were due from property owners with bills of $1,000 to $5,000, which Dixon said would include small businesses and most residential properties. That range of tax bills includes properties in Charlotte that are valued from about $80,000 to $400,000.

That’s about 44 percent of the total $31.2 million outstanding debt. That’s about the same percentage as last year.

The report shows that about $8.5 million is owed for bills of amounts greater than $10,000. About $5.5 million is owed for unpaid bills of less than $1,000, the county said.

Dixon said that in the past, the amount of outstanding taxes were spread more evenly among the different groups. But that changed in 2009 as the number of delinquent bills for smaller amounts increased.

Dixon said the continuation of that trend four years later may indicate the lingering effect of the area’s unemployment rate and any struggles by small businesses.

That’s not a surprise, says UNC Charlotte economist John Connaughton, especially given the county’s high unemployment rate.

He said while some jobs have been added in Mecklenburg in recent years, they are not all in areas like manufacturing or construction that took big hits in the recession and the skill sets aren’t necessarily transferrable.

“You still have a lot of chronically unemployed people and things aren’t any better for them today than they were for them three or four years ago,” Connaughton said.

Connaughton said there are some signs, including a rise in home prices and drop in the inventory of available homes, that suggest construction could pick up again. But he said the area isn’t likely to see all a complete return of the other jobs that were loss.

Connaughton said other factors, including the number of people on unemployment benefits and loss of six-figure jobs from Wells Fargo’s purchase of Wachovia, also still has an impact on personal incomes.

Bethea: 704-358-6013; Twitter: @AprilBethea
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