Get McGinty: Overcharged on your car tax bill?

Get McGinty: Overcharged on your car tax bill?

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by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 31 at 12:15 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It’s estimated that more than a million people in Mecklenburg County own and register a car; in 2013 alone, it put more than $52 million in tax dollars into county government coffers.

Steve Waldner argues that Mecklenburg County got too many of his tax dollars when he says they mistakenly overvalued his 2011 Toyota.

Steve says, “…when I first got my tax bill I noticed they were taxing me at over $16,000, which is more than I paid for the car back in November 2011.”

Steve’s bill of sale shows he bought the car for $15,473 on November 11, 2011.  In 2012, Mecklenburg accessed the value of his car at $18,090, and in 2013 the assessed value was $16,020, again, higher than the $15,473 he paid two years and 30,000 miles ago.

Steve says even Kelly Blue Book put the value much lower than Mecklenburg County.

NBC Charlotte took Steve’s concerns to Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner, who explained how the County arrives at that number on your tax bill. 

Joyner was thorough in his explanation and says “our guides that we use, and that the DMV uses, are the same as the local government divisions in all 100 counties in North Carolina use; so, it’s looking at average value, average condition, and average mileage.”

The new tax and tag system that just went into effect means you’ll now pay the auto property tax and
the state registration all at once in one bill instead of getting two different bills. 

(http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/AssessorsOffice/tagandtax/Pages/default.aspx)

If you want to dispute the tax on your car or truck, you’ll still take it to the local office.

In September alone, Mecklenburg assessed 64,362 autos, and 491 taxpayers argued it was too much. Those people eventually got favorable adjustments downward. 

Steve’s first argument didn’t go so well saying, “…so I appealed it and got no adjustment… Yes, I lost”. 

So Steve argued again, and this time, he won; Mecklenburg County dropped the value of his white Toyota and put $50 back in Steve’s pocket.  Steve feels municipalities are receiving a lot of tax dollars they don’t deserve.

If you are going to make an argument to have your tax bill adjusted downward, be sure you have all the necessary documentation, like the bill of sale. The county mainly looks at retail sales, not private sales, where you may have really gotten a really good deal from your uncle.

An automotive expert says if your car was wrecked and then repaired, you have an argument to have your tax value lowered.  

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