Local News

Auto Club Says Car Taxes Should Be Set By State

Posted July 26, 2001

— The taxes you pay for a motor vehicle in North Carolina can be very different depending on where you live. The American Automobile Association of the Carolinas says that is not fair.

The association says the assessed value on your car can vary from county to county by as much as $5,000, and that can make a big difference in the tax bill you pay.

"We believe there's something inherently wrong with the North Carolina vehicle assessment process," said David Parsons of the association.

The association says that each of North Carolina's 100 counties can use a different method to assess the value of your car. That means Dare County may say the value of a Ford Taurus is $9,590, while McDowell County could say it is worth $14,650.

"They have the ultimate flexibility in setting their assessed values and both tax rates," said Parsons.

And, the association says, the public often does not have good access to the methodology used to assess vehicle values. It will begin lobbying legislators to develop a standard way of assessing vehicle values across the state.

"We'd like some uniformity across the assessed values between the counties. We think that would be best administered by the state. They issue a singular valuation which all counties should adhere to and adjust their tax rates accordingly," said Parsons.

The association says the idea is not without precedent. The organization says in Georgia the same vehicle has the same assessed value, no matter what county it is in.

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