January 10, 2008

Changes Announced on Annual County Tax Assessment Lists

A new system of checks and balances will be obvious to Scotland County taxpayers when they receive the annual personal property assessment lists in the mail starting this week.

Scotland County Assessor Jim Ward reported his office is making a transition regarding how personal property, particularly licensed vehicles, will be displayed in the annual report.

Traditionally, taxpayers have received a business card sized county collectors certificate of tangible and personal taxes paid. That small slip also doubled as the taxpayers personal ID card. The back of the card had a generic listing of vehicles, where the taxpayers personal property was numerically recorded. The card simply showed the number of autos, vans, trucks, trailers, RVs, boats, semis or other miscellaneous vehicles.

Under the new system, every licensed vehicle owned by the taxpayer will now be individually listed on the record sheet, including make, model year and other pertinent information based on Department of Revenue licensing records.

Basically every vehicle that a county resident has licensed is going to automatically be listed on their tax record for assessment, said Ward.

The office started mailing the 2008 assessment lists on January 7th. Taxpayers have until March 1st to complete the list, sign it and return it to the office.

Assessment lists that do not include all property, including vehicles, can be deemed incomplete, making them eligible for a late charge, which starts at $10 per each $1,000 in property up to a maximum of $100 for $9,100 or more in property not listed.

The new system helps both assessors and the DOR to double check to insure the necessary vehicles are being licensed and assessed for tax purposes.

This also should help property owners complete the assessment lists as they wont have to recall model year and other information for their vehicles, as it will be readily available on the new certificates, Ward said.

Ward noted that taxpayers are welcome to bring the assessment lists to his office for assistance in completing the forms, adding that he and his deputies are available to answer any questions regarding the process.

The lists must include all vehicles owned as of January 1, 2008.

The office annually processes approximately 2,600 assessment lists.

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