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Durham Gets Tough To Collect Vehicle Taxes

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DURHAM — If you think you can get away with not paying your car taxes in Durham County, think again.


Durham County Tax Administration

has stepped up its enforcement in an effort to get more people to pay up.

The tax office says about 20,000

motor vehicle tax

bills are due each month, with up to 20 percent going unpaid.That adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Paying your taxes late could mean a visit from a sheriff's deputy.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office is increasing its staff to help collect the money, and have hired a full-time deputy.

"She is responsible for serving sheriff's levy executions, which actually means seizure of personal property, vehicles, business property -- anything to satisfy the tax," says Kimberly Simpson, deputy tax administrator.

Durham is the first county in the Triangle to implement such aggressive measures. Since January 1, the county has collected almost $1 million in back taxes. Last week alone, $33,000 was collected.

Officials say the goal is to educate people about the payment process:

  • You should receive a tax bill 3 months after your last renewal.
  • You have about a month to pay before interest starts adding up on your bill: 2 percent the first month and 3/4 percent every month after until you pay the bill. (The first month's interest was increased from 3/4 percent to 2 percent on July 1.)
  • If you have not received your tax bill three months after renewing your tags, contact your local tax office. If you do not pay you can not renew your tags when they expire.
  • For more information on paying motor vehicle taxes in Durham County, call




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