With overall property values rising in Sampson County due to last year’s revaluation, the annual tax settlement presented this week showed steady numbers in unpaid taxes and tax collection rates that translated into $2 million more in total taxes collected over last year taking into account the higher tax base.
County tax administrator Jim Johnson presented the annual tax settlement for 2011-12 to the Sampson County Board of Commissioners this week. According to General Statute, the tax administrator must annually, after July 1 and before being charged with the collection of the current fiscal year taxes, provide a settlement of taxes for the previous fiscal year.
The annual tax settlement for 2011-12 includes outstanding taxes of $1,035,067.22 in real property, $61,058.59 in personal property and $719,119.26 in motor vehicles, as of July 16. The amounts include county tax, fire districts, school tax, city tax, penalties and advertising cost. The total tax settlement was $1,815,245.07.
Johnson still noted a 95 percent collection rate for the 2011-12 fiscal year, consistent with the 95.12 collection rate in 2010-11 percent and the 94.62 percent rate for 2009-10. Maintaining that rate this year meant a $2 million increase in tax dollars taken in.
“The settlement last year was $1,710,486.26, which is up about $104,000 but basically you’re looking at almost $2.3 million more in tax levied due to the property revaluation,” Johnson remarked. “Our tax collection rate is still strong at 95 percent and we have taken in just about $2.1 million more in tax dollars this past fiscal year.”
The Sampson County Tax Office is solely responsible for the collection of all county taxes, fire district taxes and school district taxes. Tax bills for real estate, business personal property and individually-owned personal property are mailed to property owners in July of each year. Registered motor vehicle bills are mailed monthly.
The county allows a 2 percent discount on real estate, business personal property and individually-owned personal property tax bills if paid by Aug. 31, and bills are officially due Sept 1. Payment without interest may be made through Jan. 5.
The $1.7 million annual tax settlement figure for 2010-11 included unpaid tax on real property of $857,624.26; personal property of $62,263.89; and motor vehicle tax of $790,598.11. Only real property increased for 2011-12, nearly $200,000, while unpaid personal property and motor vehicle taxes decreased this past year. Total unpaid taxes at the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year totaled $1,784,450.22.
The Board of Commissioners unanimously accepted the report and charged Johnson to collect 2012-13 taxes.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.