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Old 02-14-2008, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,698,194 times
Reputation: 241

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We bought a house in March 2007. Today (2/14/2008), we recieved an overdue tax bill from Orange County and have until 2/28/2008 to avoid a lien against our home. It includes a 2 3/4% late penalty. Needless to say we were alarmed because we had recieved no prior notices of this tax bill. I called the Orange County tax collection dept. and found out that NC rules require the county to send a tax bill to the owner of record as of Jan. 1 of that year. That bill goes out in August. However if the property is sold within that year, then the new owner is responsible for paying the bill. NC does not require the county to send a bill to the new owners, even though they are responsible for paying it. The former owner is supposed to forward the bill to the new owner. In our case (and I'm sure in many others), that didn't happen because the former owners do not speak or read English. "As a courtesy," Orange County sends out duplicate bills to the new owners in October but we never received one, nor prior late notices. I don't know why this one reached us. I haven't been aware of any problem with our mail delivery. The county insists that we pay the penalty, too. Grumble, grumble.

I think the NC laws should be changed to require that Real Estate tax bills go to folks responsible for the bill: the new owners.

If you have bought or plan to buy a home this year please look out for a tax bill in the fall and call the tax office if you don't receive one.
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:47 AM
 
2,356 posts, read 2,900,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_61 View Post
I think the NC laws should be changed to require that Real Estate tax bills go to folks responsible for the bill: the new owners.
I don't think this is a North Carolina law, is it? Shouldn't you be looking for Orange County to change the law instead?
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,698,194 times
Reputation: 241
According to the person I talked with at Orange County, they are following NC state laws.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:08 AM
 
3,021 posts, read 10,354,489 times
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Alice, this exact same thing just happened to us!

We bought our house in Durham County in May 2007. Last Friday we opened up our mail box to find an over-due tax bill from the county that sounds exactly like yours. It said the taxes were due back on January 9th, so we were already a month late & that if they didn't get the money by February 29th that they'd put a lien on the house & could begin foreclosure procedures. Plus, they were charging 2.75% interest every month we were over-due. This was the first we'd heard of any of this! And since it was Friday night, I couldn't call to get any answers until Monday morning. As you can imagine, it was a rough weekend!

On Monday morning I got my answers. I was told that the state law requires that the property tax bill for 2007 must be sent to whoever owned the property on January 1st, 2007. They were not legally allowed to send us a bill until the new year because we are the owners as of January 1, 2008. How ridiculous is this?! I couldn't believe it! And now we have to pay interest on a bill that we never even received on time. Luckily for us that only amounted to $50, but that's still $50 I'd rather have in my hands.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,698,194 times
Reputation: 241
MrsSteel,

Isn't that ridiculous that they would be prohibited to send a bill to the people that owe it??? According to the person in Orange County they could send one in 2007, but it was only a "courtesy" on their part. What a joke! Grumble, grumble.

Thanks,
Alice
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:19 AM
 
3,021 posts, read 10,354,489 times
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What can I say ... misery loves company!
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:17 PM
 
62 posts, read 166,552 times
Reputation: 37
Default We, too

We had a similar situation. However, we got lucky. We got a bill from the City of Graham in about November or so, so out of curiosity I checked the County website to see if the county bills had been paid. They hadn't. I immediately contacted them to see what the deal was, and they said that I was responsible, if the loaning institution had collected money for the proposed taxes that was between me and them.

Since we bought the house in June, the taxes hadn't been established yet so the lending agency didn't collect anything.

We, since we bought the house new, were only taxed on the land. Got lucky there and also got off cheap.

Then, lo and behold, in early January the builder forwarded us the bill he got from the County.

Whew!
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,698,194 times
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It seems that in Orange County, they collect town (of Chapel Hill) taxes as well as the county taxes. It all comes as one bill from the county.
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