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Tax Collections FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)


Real Property, Personal Property, and Delinquent Taxes


Q: When are real estate and personal property taxes due?

A: September 1st.


Q: When should taxes be paid to avoid interest?

A: On or before January 5th.


Q: What is the interest from January 6th to January 31st?

A: 2% interest on the balance and 3/4% interest each month thereafter.


Q: What if I don't receive a tax bill?

A: A bill is generated and mailed for payment each year. You are responsible for payment even if you do not receive the bill.


Reasons for not receiving a tax bill:

  1. Incorrect address (make sure you keep your address current).
  2. Tax bill was lost in the mail.
  3. If property was purchased after January 1st the bill goes to the owner as of the first day of the year.

Q: When taxes are delinquent can you make payment arrangements?

A: Yes, but arrangements have to be kept to avoid other action.


Q: When will property be advertised in the paper and if I have payment arrangements will the property still be advertised?

A: Property is advertised in March of each year and will be advertised even if you have payment arrangements. Taxes must be paid in full to avoid advertisement.


Q: What action is taken if I don't pay my taxes or make arrangements?

A: In no particular order:

  1. Garnishment of wages
  2. Bank attachment
  3. Attachment of rents
  4. Attachment of North Carolina tax refund (debt setoff)
  5. Seizure of vehicle or other personal property
  6. Account turned over to the sheriff for levy
  7. Foreclosure of property

Q: What if I sold the property and I get a tax bill?

A: Property tax bills are mailed to the January 1st owner and we request that you forward the tax bill to the new owner.


Q: What if I get a tax bill and my mortgage company is supposed to pay them?

A: You need to forward your bill to your mortgage company.


Q: Why do I pay county taxes when I live in the city?

A: You live in the county of Rutherford so you pay county taxes and if you are within the city limits you also pay city taxes.


Q: How do I obtain tax receipts for my income taxes?


  1. You may come by the tax office and obtain duplicate receipts.
  2. Send self-addressed stamped envelope with request for duplicate receipts of taxes you paid.
  3. This information can not be given over the phone.

Q: Can I pay my real property, personal property or delinquent taxes on-line?

A: YES, You can use your debit card or credit card to pay. Master Card, Visa, and Discover cards are accepted by phone (888-564-3647), in the office and online. American Express is accepted online only. Just search your record, add to the cart and pay via credit or debit card. A $0.30 transaction fee plus a 2.5% convenience fee will be added to your total taxes due.  You can also pay by ECHECK for a flat fee of $1.50. Click HERE to search, view and pay your taxes.


Q: If I want to pay by cash, check or money order, what are my choices?


  1. Mail your payments to: Rutherford County Tax Collector, P.O. Box 143, Rutherfordton NC 28139
  2. Pay in person, at the Revenue Department office located at 229 N. Main St., Courthouse Addition, Rutherfordton, NC 2813


Q: What if I can't get to the office during business hours?

A: We have a designated drop box outside of the glass doors to the entrance of the tax office where payments can be made by check or money order. Just be sure to include your account number so your money gets aplied to the correct account.


Motor Vehicles


Q: What if I receive an invitation to renew on a vehicle I no longer own?

A: If the tag was turned in the taxes could be prorated for the prior tax year IF all requirements for proration are met. If the tag was transferred to another vehicle you need to inform the NCDMV or License Plate Agency when you renew your tag or license plate.


Q: What information do you need to prorate taxes on a motor vehicle after it was sold?

A: You would need to send us a receipt from the tag office showing when the tag was turned in or a copy of a bona fide bill of sale or other document clearly indicating that the vehicle has been sold or otherwise been disposed. If you have moved out of North Carolina a copy of that state's current registration on the car is sufficient.


Q: Can I wait to pay my car taxes when I pay my real estate taxes?

A: No.  Taxes for Registered Motor Vehicles (tagged or registered in the state of NC) are now collected at the DMV or License Plate Agency when the license plate is renewed.  It is a pre-paid tax that is based upon your license plate renewal and expiration dates.


Q: Why do I have to pay fire district tax or city taxes on my vehicle?

A: Fire district and city taxes have always been charged on vehicles. As of 2013, taxes are printed on your invitation to renew your license plate that comes from the DMV and are collected by the DMV or License Plate Agency along with your registration fee.


If you have any other questions regarding motor vehicle taxes, please refer to the page Tag and Tax Together on this website.