Article Published: Jan. 7, 2013 | Modified: Jan. 7, 2013
A trip to the Watauga County Courthouse won't be necessary to pay vehicle taxes six months from now.
As the result of a state law passed in 2005, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is implementing a new "Tag & Tax Together" program. Because the 2005 law requires vehicle property taxes to be paid in full before a vehicle's registration can be renewed, vehicle owners will pay annual vehicle taxes and registration fees jointly at local DMV license plate agencies as of mid-2013.
Vehicle owners will receive a statement in the mail that lists both vehicle registration fees and taxes due about 60 days before their vehicles' registration expiration dates.
The county tax office will no longer collect vehicle taxes; instead, the DMV will distribute vehicle tax revenues to the appropriate counties.
In 2008, the DMV synched up the vehicle safety inspection and registration renewal processes, requiring vehicle owners to have their cars inspected before renewing their tags the same month. Now, as a result of the "Tag & Tax Together" program, the annual vehicle inspection, registration renewal and vehicle tax will all be due the same month each year.
Safety inspection fees in North Carolina are $13.60; vehicles registered in Watauga County do not require the additional $30 emissions inspection. The license plate registration renewal fee for a private passenger vehicle in North Carolina is $28.
Watauga County's current ad valorem tax rate of 31.3 cents per $100 valuation applies to motor vehicles. Owners of vehicles registered in Boone town limits pay an additional $5 fee per vehicle.
Watauga County's license plate agency is currently located at 331 Queen St., Room 101 in Boone.To help vehicle owners with the new requirement, NCDMV is posting a special web page offering information about the program. The web page is located at http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv
and can be accessed with one click on "Tag & Tax Together."