Several thousand late on taxes; collections next step

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – If you haven't paid your property taxes, you're about to be called out and maybe even broke.

Long lines are a common sight at the New Hanover County Government Complex.  The county recently sent out its second delinquent notices for real estate and personal property taxes.  If you don't pay, the county will not only publish your name in the newspaper, it will also do whatever it takes to get payment.

And, apparently, New Hanover County has one of the highest collection rates in the state.

"Currently we're at 92.8%," said Assistant Tax Administrator Jeff Niebauer.  "But we suspect that will be much higher by the end of the year because our deadline is June 30th.  So, we suspect 98% to 99% by the end of the year."

The county will give late-payers until the end of the month before taking the next step.  From there, it can garnish wages or even foreclose on a home, depending on the circumstances.

We have many different measures we can use," said Niebauer.  "Obviously we would prefer, even if you haven't paid it, to come in and try to work out a payment play before that happens." 

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