Combined Tax & Tag

In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly ratified House Bill 1779 to create a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and property tax collection system. The legislation places the responsibility for motor vehicle property tax collection for the state’s 100 counties with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The new combined registration fee and tax collection has become North Carolina’s new “Tag & Tax System.”
The new system is scheduled to be phased into effect with vehicle registration renewals that are due in September 2013. By June 2014, all North Carolina vehicles will be enrolled in the system.
The new form combines information about your vehicle registration renewal fee and your vehicle property tax due. The new Tag & Tax System allows you to make one payment for both registration renewal and vehicle property tax.
Your vehicle tax will be due at the same time you renew your vehicle. North Carolina law requires that your vehicle property tax be paid in order to renew the vehicle registration. The due date will be printed on the new combined notice that you receive in the mail.
No. You cannot renew your vehicle’s registration, whether it is leased or owned, unless the total taxes and registration fees on the vehicle are paid.
Taxes due on this notice are for the coming year, covering the same period as the vehicle registration.
Yes. State law requires that interest be charged on late vehicle property tax payments and on late registration renewals.
Your property tax will be included on the new combined notice with your county and municipality tax rates and other applicable taxes due.
No. Vehicle property taxes on leased motor vehicles must be paid in full at the time of renewal. A copy of the combined tag and tax notice is not sent to the leasing company.
No. If you have paid your vehicle property tax for the year and then transfer the license plate to another vehicle, you will not be eligible for a refund of the taxes paid. The registered motor vehicle to which the plates are transferred will not be taxed until its current registration is renewed.
An owner can apply for a refund of taxes paid when a motor vehicle is sold or registered out of state. The refund will be calculated on any full calendar months remaining in the registration period after the license plate is surrendered to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Within one year of surrendering the license plates, the owner must present the following to the county tax office: (1) Proof of plate surrender to N.C. DMV (DMV Form FS20); and (2) Copy of the Bill of Sale or the new state’s registration. License plates can be surrendered to your local License Plate Agency or mailed to: NC DMV Vehicle Registration Section, 3148 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-3148. You may fax a copy of your FS20 form and bill of sale or new state’s registration to 336-727-2369.
Active duty non-resident military personnel may be exempt from North Carolina motor vehicle property tax. To qualify for an exemption, you must present a copy of your Leave & Earnings Statement to the county tax office. The statement should be for the month and year in which you register the vehicle and must include your Estimated Time of Separation (ETS) date and home of record.
The county will still be billing vehicle taxes for registrations made through August 2013. If you have not paid a tax bill that was due on or before December 1, 2013 – past due January 1, 2014 – you will continue to receive past due bills from the tax office to be paid to the Forsyth County Tax Office.
The Forsyth County Tax Office will still handle value and taxing jurisdiction issues. Our phone number is 336-703-2300.
Appeals must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the due date of your registration to the Forsyth County Tax Office, P. O. Box 757, Winston-Salem, NC, 27102. They must include a detailed description of condition and/or a copy of your last inspection statement showing high mileage if applicable.
If your vehicle registration has an August 2013 expiration date or earlier, you will still receive a bill from Forsyth County which is to be paid to the county tax office. The last bills to be sent from the tax office will be due December 1, 2013 and past due January 1, 2014. Any past due county tax bills should also be paid to the county.
Interest continues to accrue on past due bills. Collection remedies are still in force. The tax department can still block registrations, attach wages, bank accounts, and state income tax refunds. A past due bill can also be reported to the credit bureau.
DMV will not automatically send a corrected notice. You must contact the NC Division of Motor Vehicles Help Line at 919-814-1779 and speak to a customer service representative. Ask the representative to issue you a notice on the vehicle you now have and you should receive it by mail within 5 to 10 days. Please note that interest will be charged on the taxes and registration fee if paid after the due date printed on your registration notice.
The tax and registration fee are only due if you choose to renew your plate. If you no longer own the vehicle and have returned the plate to DMV or no longer wish to renew it, please disregard the notice.
The DMV collects vehicle taxes as well as registration fees. They offer 3 different payment options. You may use their online application athttp://ncdot.gov/dmv/vehicle/tagtax/ or visit your local License Plate Agency. Payments should be made payable to NC DMV and are accepted by mail at the following address: NCDMV, P. O. Box 29620, Raleigh, NC 27626. DMV registration questions may be answered by calling 919-814-1779.
The total amount of property tax you paid is printed along with your registration. DMV is currently working towards making payment information available through their website in 2016. Since the county no longer collects these payments we are unable to issue you a receipt or maintain the information on our website. If you cannot locate your DMV registration receipt you may contact our office at 336-703-2300. Please have your license plate number(s) available in order to assure prompt service.

Collections

Usually, because the payments go through a process with a servicing agent. This process could take up to a month to be received by the tax office.
It allows counties and cities to garnish state income tax returns and/or State Lottery winnings to collect delinquent debts.
Usually this happens when an incorrect account number is used. This will result in a rejected payment. If your payment is rejected electronically, interest charges may accrue if the bill becomes past due. If you choose to use this payment method be sure the online bill payment program that you use will allow you to change the full account number.
Under North Carolina General Statue 105-285, property taxes are billed annually in the name of the owner of record as of January 1. A duplicate bill is also sent to the current owner. The property tax bill is mailed to you for this reason. However, North Carolina Session Law 2006-106 relieves the seller of liability for property taxes assessed on real property when the seller transfers the property before the taxes become past due. This law authorizes the Tax Collector to enforce payment by all legal means against the owner of the property (and any subsequent owner) as of the date taxes become past due.
Usually, taxes are prorated at the time of the transfer of ownership. To determine if your taxes were prorated at the time of closing, please contact your realtor or closing attorney. The best way to make sure there are no issues regarding unpaid taxes is to request that the taxes are paid upon the closing of the transaction. If current year taxes are not yet due, we will accept prepayments based on the previous year’s bill.
By US mail, in person between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm at 201 North Chestnut St., Winston-Salem, NC (please note; if payments are made in person the only forms of payments accepted are cash, check, or money order). Credit card and e-check payments are accepted online. If paying by a credit card or a non-VISA debit card: the fee is 2.35% of the total amount due with a minimum fee of $1.95. If paying by VISA consumer debit card the fee is $3.95. To pay by e-Check the fee is $1.50 up to $9,999.99. A drop box is available anytime, which is located next to the parking deck entrance.

Real Estate

If you do not agree with the value, you may appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review by filling out a BER Appeal Form. You may request a form by contacting our office during normal business hours, or you may print your form online by accessing your property on Geo Data. The timeframe to appeal is from January 1 until June 30 for 2016.
NCGS 105.286 requires each county to reappraise real property. The law also allows counties to reappraise more frequently at its discretion. Forsyth County has generally performed reappraisals every four years since 1988, which lessens the shift in values that occur over an eight year period.
This usually occurs when a mapping change has been done to an existing real estate parcel.
Once Forsyth County tax records are updated, our website usually takes a few weeks to show updated ownership information.
The amount of property tax you pay is based upon the value of your property and the tax rate is determined by your local government annually.

Listing

N.C.G.S. 105-307 states tax listing forms should be completed, signed, and received in the tax office or postmarked by the U.S. Post Office by January 31 of each year unless the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners extends the listing period. Faxed listings are accepted.  Personal property listings also may be made online beginning January 2016.
During the current listing period you may mark through the entry and explain what happened to the property: example; date sold, date junked, etc., sign and return the listing. If you need to report this after the current listing period is over, we will need a copy of a bill of sale indicating when the item was sold in order to consider an adjustment.
Yes, you are taxed based on what property you owned on January 1. Additionally, you will need to mark through the item on your next year’s listing form.
N.C.G.S. 105-285 states that all taxpayers that own real estate, personal property, or business personal property as of January 1 must list by January 31 of each year. There is a 10% penalty based on the personal/ business personal property tax added for each listing period that is late or missed. Real estate with no improvements made during the past year is automatically listed and is not penalized for failure to list timely.
Unregistered vehicles or vehicles without a current tag as of January 1 should be listed. Permanently tagged, multi-year vehicles/trailers and ATV’s should also be listed as personal property. Other items that should be listed include manufactured homes, watercraft, horse tack and farm tractors. Do not list household items, livestock, personal golf carts, and residential lawn tractor/mowers. Please call the tax office at 336-703-2300 if you have a question regarding what property should be listed.
No. Dogs and Cats are licensed through Forsyth County Animal Control. Please call 336-703-2480 if you would like more information.
If you listed personal property in Forsyth County last year or own real estate as of January 1, you should receive a listing form in the mail on or before January 1. If you are listing for the first time or have not received your listing form in the mail you may call us at 336-703-2300 or visit the Tax office on the first floor of the Forsyth County Government Center at 201 N. Chestnut Street in Winston-Salem between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Owners of personal property and business personal property have 30 days from the date of their first notice or bill to appeal assessed value. Appeals should be submitted in writing to the Tax Assessor's Office and include the item's original purchase price, full description, condition and any other supporting documentation, if needed. An appeal form is located on our website under the "Forms" section and is titled Board of Equalization and Review Personal Property Appeal Form.
You need to submit a completed application on or before June 1. You can obtain an application by checking the box in section “D” on your listing form or call the office at 336-703-2300 and one will be mailed to you. You may also stop by the office during business hours. You must meet certain criteria to qualify. More information is provided on the website or in the enclosed brochure included with your listing form.

Business

Business personal property is movable property that is used in a trade or business. This type of property is subject to property tax throughout North Carolina.
When a business ceases operation, the property remains taxable in Forsyth County unless it is converted into household personal property, moved out of Forsyth County or is sold or discarded. Household personal property is defined as property that could normally be found at a home. Business personal property is taxable as of January 1 of each year.
The taxpayer should complete the out of business section on the business personal property listing form and sign the document. In the out of business section, the taxpayer should indicate when the business closed and what happened to the assets. The taxpayer needs to state whether the assets were sold, discarded and/or donated, moved out of Forsyth County, converted to household personal property or were involved in a bankruptcy. The taxpayer should also provide any other relevant information concerning the taxability of the assets in question. The taxpayer should provide the name and address of the purchaser of the assets, if the assets were sold.
Make the corrections on the listing form that was sent back to you. A new listing form is not necessary.
Yes, total historical cost of the assets by the correct year of acquisition is required in Schedule B. If these cost numbers are not preprinted, you need to enter them on Schedule B.
Yes, if the preprinted numbers are not correct, you need to draw a line through the incorrect preprinted number and enter the correct number. For example, under the Computer Equip/Software column on Schedule B there is a figure of $2,000 representing two computers costing $1,000 each. If one of these computers is discarded, draw a line through the $2,000 and write in $1,000, which represents the cost of the remaining computer that was in place on January 1 of the year in question.
List this cost on a separate sheet of paper and include it with your listing form. If you no longer have a professional library, please indicate the date it was disposed.
You should include a list of the mobile homes owned as of January 1 of the year in question and provide all of the information requested in Schedule D.
Yes, you are required by NCGS 105-274 to list your mobile homes, as well as, any other personal property.
The business personal property listing form is the only form in Forsyth County on which you can list airplanes. The fact that airplanes are often owned by businesses provides the theoretical basis for listing aircraft on a business personal property listing form.
Yes, the business personal property needs to be listed. You need to contact a Tax Deferment Specialist with the Forsyth County Assessor’s Office for the applicable exemption forms. The Tax Deferment Specialist will make a determination relative to the validity of the exemption request.
In the absence of a unique valuation notice, the tax bill services as notice of the value of business personal property. All business personal property appeals must be filed with the Tax Assessor, in writing, by September 1st of the year the bill was originally due.

Revaluation

Forsyth County has been conducting 4th year reappraisals since 1988. It is appropriate to re-equalize values periodically to make sure that all property bears its fair share of the tax burden – no more, and no less. A delay would mean that some would pay too much and others would pay less than their fair share.

Foreclosures

North Carolina State law prohibits the selling of property tax liens.
The Tax Office does not maintain or provide a mailing list of these properties.
When foreclosure properties are ready, the sale dates are posted on the Foreclosures Page on the 2nd floor bulletin board in the Hall of Justice (Second & Main Streets, Winston-Salem and in the Winston-Salem Journal for three weeks prior to sale.

Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcels, awaiting or assigned an auction date, will be listed on the Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcels Page. Prior to the auction, a sale notice will be published in the Winston-Salem Journal, legal classifieds section.

Surplus properties may be viewed on the Surplus Properties Page.
Foreclosure Sales are held on the 2nd floor of the Hall of Justice, Second and Main Streets, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Sale dates for foreclosure sales are randomly selected and occur at 12:00 noon.
Foreclosure Sales require a 5% - 20% of the highest bid (as set out in the Notice of Sale).
Only bids from auction attendees at the foreclosure sale will be accepted.
Cash, money orders or certified funds are accepted for deposits.
Forsyth County does not offer financing.
No earned interest is paid for funds on deposit.
Phase 1: Foreclosure Sales are properties sold due to delinquent tax liens.  The County opens bidding at the amount equal to taxes plus legal costs.  Anyone may offer an amount over the County's bid and obtain ownership upon completion of a 10 day upset bid period.

Phase 2: Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcels  have already completed the tax foreclosure phase and did not sell at the initial foreclosure auction. These parcels may be resold at a later time.

Phase 3: Surplus Properties are parcels that are owned by the County.  The County acquired these properties by becoming the last and highest bidder at their foreclosure sales. These parcels may be purchased directly from the County by submitting a written offer, or by completing the "form for bid" located on the Surplus Properties Page.

 These properties are not to be confused with properties held by the County for its own use.
These sales are generated from delinquent tax liens ONLY.  They are NOT related to any mortgage company, city, or sheriff's office foreclosures.  The Tax Administration Office has no knowledge of foreclosure proceedings being conducted by a mortgage company, city or sheriff's office.
If no initial or upset bid is submitted on a foreclosure property, foreclosure sale properties move into Foreclosure Sale Residual Parcel status and may be made available for purchase at a later auction.  Sale dates will be chosen randomly but advertised on the website and in the Winston-Salem Journal.
The property moves into surplus property status, and may be purchased directly from the County by completing and submitting the “offer to purchase” form—available on the Surplus Property Page.

The offer must be mailed to ATTN: Kirby Robinson, Forsyth County , 201 N. Chestnut Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Offers may also be deposited in the Tax Collector’s Office drop box (to the right of the entrance to the parking deck), or dropped off with a cashier.

The offer will be reviewed by the County Board of Commissioners; and, if accepted, is subject to a 10-day upset bid.

You will receive notification of the status of your offer by either the County Manager’s or the County Attorney’s Office. (See question: How do I find out if the 10-day upset period has closed out?)
Foreclosure sale upset bids must be submitted in person at the Clerk of Court’s Office, Room #245, Hall of Justice, Second and Main Streets, Winston-Salem, N.C. The court case number must be provided to the Clerk's Office in order for the clerk to access the record. That number is available on the Property Tax Foreclosure Sales site.

Surplus property offers must be submitted to and agreed upon by the Board of Commissioners, and will then be subject to a 10-day upset bid period. Accepted offers will be advertised in the Winston-Salem Journal and subject to a 10-day upset bid. To submit an upset bid on Surplus Properties ONLY, contact the County Manager’s Office at (336)703-2020.
Foreclosure upset bids require a 5% increase over the last bid, with a minimum increase of $750.

Surplus property upset bids must be increased by 10% of first $1,000 and 5% of the balance of the most current bid.
The day after the foreclosure sale is recorded counts as Day 1. Saturday and Sunday are also counted; however, if Day 10 falls on the weekend or a holiday, the next working day shall be counted as Day 10.
Inquiries regarding "close out" status of foreclosure sales ONLY, must be made in person at the Clerk of Court's Office, Room 245, Hall of Justice, Second and Main Streets, Winston-Salem, N.C.
 
For Surplus properties ONLY, contact the County Manager’s office at (336)703-2020 to inquire if the upset bid period has closed.
Final payment on a foreclosure sale shall be due in the foreclosure attorney’s office upon delivery of the Commissioner’s deed and no later than 30 days after completion of the 10-day upset bid period.

Final payment on County surplus properties must be made within 10 days of completion of the 10-day upset bid period and are contingent upon approval of the bid by the Board of Commissioners.
For foreclosure sales, a Commissioner's Deed will be issued.
Unless otherwise stated in the Notice of Sale, all other liens with the exception of current year taxes, if applicable, will be eliminated when the Commissioner's Deed has been issued and recorded.

A quitclaim deed will be issued for County surplus properties.

Online Tools

County Services

Computer Training Bridge
Getting Married?  Complete your worksheet online.