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Welcome to the Johnston County, North Carolina Tax Administration Office.  Tax Administrator is Sheila Garner

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the tax office hours?
A: Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Q: When are property taxes due?
A: Property taxes are due and payable on September 1st of each year. The taxpayer has until the following January 5th to pay without penalty or interest. Interest begins on January 6th and is 2% for the first month and 3/4% for each month thereafter.

Q: What if I didn'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. You may view or print a copy of your tax statement at www.jcto.org/paytaxes

There are three common reasons for not receiving a bill:

  • We do not have your correct address. Please make sure that you keep your address information current.
  • Your tax bill was lost in the mail.
  • If your property was purchased after January 1, the bill goes to the owner as of the first of the year.

Q: What if I sold the property and still receive a tax bill?
A: Tax bills are mailed to the owner of record as of January 1st. You should forward the tax bill to the new owner.

Q: What if I receive a tax bill, but my mortgage company is supposed to pay the taxes?
A: The statement is for your records only. Mortgage companies request data for their accounts directly from the Tax Office.

Q: Can I make payment arrangements?
A: Yes, payment arrangements can be made by contacting our collections office at 919-989-5120 or by completing the online Payment Agreement and returning it to our office. The arrangements must be kept in order to avoid collection action.

Q: What action is taken if I don't pay my taxes before they become delinquent?
A: The following actions may be taken if your taxes are not paid: Garnishment of wages, Bank attachment, Seizure of vehicle, Attachment of your NC State Tax Refund, Foreclosure of property.

Q: How do I obtain receipts for taxes I have paid?
A: You can print a duplicate receipt at www.jcto.org/paytaxes. You may also come by the office for duplicate tax receipts or you can send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a written request to: The Johnston County Tax Collector PO Box 451 Smithfield, NC 27577.

Q: What does the real estate assessed value represent?
A: All property, real and personal, shall as far as practical, be appraised or valued at its true value in money as of the effective date of the last countywide reappraisal...the words "true value" shall be interpreted as meaning market value, that is, the price estimated in terms of money at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used (N.C.G.S. 105-283).

Q: When was your last revaluation and when can we expect another?
A: Our last revaluation was effective January 1, 2019. State law mandates that revaluations be conducted no less than once every eight years.

Q: I do not agree with the value you have on my real property (house and land). When and how do I appeal this value? A: If you feel the assessed value of your property is incorrect, you may file an appeal with the Johnston County Board of Equalization and Review. All appeals must be postmarked prior to the adjournment of the Board. Adjournment dates are typically in late April and are advertised prior to the first meeting each year. You may obtain an appeal form by clicking on the Tax Forms tab.

Q: What is Personal Property?
A: Personal Property consists of: Boats, Boat Motors, Jet Skis, ATVs, Aircraft (including hot air balloons and gliders),Trailers, Campers, and Manufactured Homes that are not already listed as Real Property.

Q: When do I need to list personal property?
A: We begin listing personal property on January 1st. It's the owner's responsibility to list each year. The last day to list or postmark the listing form is January 31st.

Q: If I still own the same personal property as I listed last year, do I still need to list?
A: Yes, personal property must be listed each year.

Q: When will I receive the bill for my personal property?
A: Bills are usually mailed in August of each year.

Q: How and when may I appeal the value of my personal property?
A: A completed appeal form must be mail to The Johnston County Tax Assessor, PO Box 368, Smithfield, NC 27577 within 30 days of the bill date. To obtain an appeal form, Click on the Tax Forms tab.

Q: What is the Present Use Value Assessment program?
A: In 1973, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation enabling county tax departments to consider the value of land based on its current use rather than its market value when assessing for property taxation. The intent of the Present Use Value Assessment program is to provide tax relief to landowners who soundly manage their land to produce an agricultural, horticultural or forestry commodity and to protect these tracts of land from being sold because of higher taxes brought on by appreciating land values and higher market assessments.

Q: How do I apply for the Present Use Valuation program?
A: An application must be made during the regular listing period (Jan. 1 - Jan. 31) or within 30 day of a notice of change in value. An application required due to transfer of the land may be submitted at any time during the calendar year but must be submitted within 60 days of the date of transfer. The application will be reviewed to determine whether the land meets all applicable criteria. A Present Use Valuation application can be found on the Tax Forms tab or you may call 919-989-5130 to receive an application by mail.

Q: Is there any reason why I would not want to be included in the Present Use Valuation program if I qualify?
A: Yes. When property enters the program, the county tax office begins keeping record of taxes owed at both the present use valuation and the market valuation. The taxpayer receives a bill based on the present use value. The difference between taxes at present use value and at market value is called the deferred tax. As long as the property qualifies for the program, the deferred tax will never become due and payable. However, when it is removed from the program, the deferred tax for the current year and the previous three years will become due with interest.

Q: When should I expect a tax bill for my vehicle?
A: Registered motor vehicle taxes are included on your annual Invitation to Renew. They must be paid when you renew the vehicle registration.

Q: Can I wait to pay my car taxes when I pay my real estate taxes?
A: No, registered motor vehicles must be paid to NCDMV by the due date on the renewal notice to avoid interest and expired registration.

Q: I no longer own this vehicle, do I still owe the taxes?
A: If you plan to renew the registration, visit a NCDMV office. They will update the registration with your current vehicle information. This will generate a new tax amount. If you are not going to renew the registration, you do not owe the tax or the registration fee. However, if you returned the tag to NCDMV prior to the expiration date, you may be due a refund of taxes. Contact the Johnston County Tax Collector's Office at 919-989-5120 for additional information.

Q: What information is needed to prorate taxes on a motor vehicle that has been sold?
A: A receipt from NCDMV indicating when the tag was turned in and a copy of a bill of sale or other document clearly indicating that the vehicle has been sold or otherwise disposed of. If you moved to another state, you will need a copy of that state's current registration on the vehicle. The refund will be based on the number of full months remaining on the registration after the plate was turned in.

Q: Can I appeal the value of my vehicle?
 A: Yes. You have 30 days from the bill date to appeal the value. You may call us at 919-989-5120 or you may make a written appeal addressed to: Johnston County Tax Assessor P.O. Box 451 Smithfield, NC 27577