Real Property Tax Time: Legislative Update – Tax Certification, H201

Now is the time of the year in North Carolina that real property tax (ad valorem) bills are going to be coming out in all counties, if they have not already.  They are most typically due upon receipt but not incurring any late charges or additional interest unless not paid by or before the first part of January of the following year.  You should check with the specific county (there are 100 counties in North Carolina) to determine exact date unpaid tax bills are considered late.

            A North Carolina statute that sometimes get overlooked in connection with non-payment of real estate tax bills on a particular property is NCGS 161-31, recently revised in H201.  Under this statute, certain counties in North Carolina are authorized to prohibit their local registry from recording deeds transferring property when real property taxes are delinquent.  The list of those counties is included in this link (https://www.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2019/Bills/House/PDF/H201v4.pdf) but do not include a couple of the larger North Carolina counties Mecklenburg (Charlotte), Guilford (Greensboro) and Wake (Raleigh).  If you are going to be closing on a real estate transaction in one of these counties and there are back taxes owed, either buyer or seller will have to be prepared to bring those current or the registry may not record the deed to transfer the property and the closing will not be consummated.  This could lead to quite a bit of work being done by all parties to prepare for a closing that cannot be completed.  It is definitely better to obtain this information early on and our firm can help guide you through this process.

If you have any questions or concerns about this any real estate tax bill(s) or this newly enacted statute, contact an attorney at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A., to assist you.