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

 

Registered Motor Vehicle Value

The ownership, situs, and taxability of a registered classified motor vehicle is determined annually as of the date on which the vehicle’s current registration is renewed, regardless of whether the registration is renewed after it has expired, or on the date an application for a new registration is submitted (NCGS 105-330.2).

An assessor must appraise a classified motor vehicle at its true value in money (NCGS 105-330.2). According to NCGS 105-283, “true value” shall be interpreted as meaning market value. Therefore, registered motor vehicles are not valued according to wholesale, private party or trade-in values for tax purposes.


Registered Motor Vehicle Value Appeal

The owner of a classified motor vehicle may appeal the appraised value of the vehicle by filing a request for appeal with the assessor within 30 days of the date the taxes are due under NCGS 105-330.4. An owner who appeals the appraised value of a classified motor vehicle must pay the tax on the vehicle when due, subject to a full or partial refund if the appeal is decided in the owner’s favor (NCGS 105-330.2).

A registered motor vehicle's value can be appealed with Johnston County based on high mileage for the vehicle’s age and/or negative condition. Documentation in the form of the North Carolina Vehicle Inspection Receipt/Statement will be considered for high mileage value appeals. To appeal based on negative, unrepaired condition, current pictures of the damage may be provided as well as repair estimates.

Because registered motor vehicle values are based on true value, or market value (NCGS 105-330.2), Johnston County will not reconsider value based on documentation of wholesale, private party or trade-in values.

Appeal documentation may be mailed (PO Box 451, Smithfield, NC 27577), emailed (mvbilling@johnstonnc.com), faxed (919-989-5614), or provided in person to our office at 207 E. Johnston Street, Smithfield. The Johnston County Tax Office will gladly take the pictures for any taxpayer unable to do so, as long as the vehicle is brought to our office during business hours.

Upon completion of the value appeal with the Johnston County Tax Office, a taxpayer who does not agree with the decision shall have 15 days from the date of the notice to request in writing to have the assessor’s decision reviewed by the Board of Equalization and Review (NCGS 105-330.2). Regardless of appealing to the Board, the taxes must be paid when due per (NCGS 105-330.2).


Registered Motor Vehicle Exemption

North Carolina General Statutes allow for certain types of property to be exempt from taxation if they meet the requirements specified by the statutes. Any owner claiming this relief, with the exception of the U.S. Government, the State of North Carolina, and the counties and municipalities of the State, must file an application for exemption. Applications may be printed using the following links AV-10V (1) and AV-10V (2) or you may contact our office at 919-989-5120 to obtain a copy. Please note that this is a two (2) page application. Applications may be submitted to PO Box 451, Smithfield, NC 27577, emailed to mvbilling@johnstonnc.com or faxed to 919-989-5614.

 

Examples of property exempt from taxation are:

  • Real and personal property used for religious purposes. (NCGS 105-278.3)
  • Real and personal property used for educational purposes. (NCGS 105-278.4)
  • Real and personal property of religious educational assemblies used for religious and educational purposes. (NCGS 105-278.4)
  • Real and personal property used for charitable purposes. (NCGS 105-278.6)
  • Real and personal property used for educational, scientific, literary or charitable purposes. (NCGS 105-278.7)
  • Real and personal property used for charitable hospital purposes. (NCGS 105-278.8)

Military Exemption

 

Military service members who are currently on active duty in North Carolina with a home of record in another state, may not be subject to registered motor vehicle taxes in North Carolina.

To be considered for exemption on a registered motor vehicle titled in the military member's name, please submit:

  • A Leave and Earnings Statement, LES, for the month and year the vehicle is to be registered.
  • A copy of the NC Combined Vehicle Registration Renewal and Property Tax Notice.

These may be mailed (PO Box 451, Smithfield, NC 27577), emailed (mvbilling@johnstonnc.com), faxed (919-989-5614) or provided in person to our office at 207 E Johnston Street, Smithfield, NC 27577.

 

Military spouses may also qualify for exemption on registered motor vehicles if their home of record is the same as the qualifying service member's.

To be considered for spousal exemption, please submit the following:

  • A Leave and Earnings Statement, LES, for the month and year the vehicle is to be registered.
  • A copy of the civilian spouse's military ID card.
  • A copy of the prior year's tax return filed in the military member's home of record state reflecting the civilian spouse's name.
  • A copy of the NC Combined Vehicle Registration Renewal and Property Tax Notice.

These may be mailed (PO Box 451, Smithfield, NC 27577), emailed mvbilling@johnstonnc.com, faxed (919-989-5614) or provided in person to our office at 207 E Johnston Street, Smithfield, NC 27577. If a tax return was not filed in the military member's home of record state, please contact our office at 919-989-5120 for information on substitution documentation.

 

Disabled Veteran Exclusion

 

Vehicles that the United States government gives to veterans on account of disabilities they suffered in World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Era are excluded from taxation so long as they are owned by:

A. A person to whom a vehicle has been given by the United States government or
B. Another person who is entitled to receive such a gift under Title 38, section 252, United States Code Annotated. (NCGS 105-275)

In addition, a motor vehicle owned by a disabled veteran that is altered with special equipment to accommodate a service-connected disability is excluded from taxation. As used in this section, disabled veteran means a person as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101(2) who is entitled to special automotive equipment for a service-connected disability, as provided in 38 U.S.C. § 3901. (NCGS 105-275)

Please contact our office at 919-989-5120 to obtain information on proving entitlement for these exclusions.

The owner of a classified motor vehicle who claims an exemption or exclusion from tax has the burden of establishing that the vehicle is entitled to the exemption or exclusion by filing an application for exempt status with the assessor within 30 days of the date taxes on the vehicle are due. (NCGS 105-330.3).


Antique Automobiles

An antique automobile is a vehicle that meets all of the following conditions:

1. It is registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles and has an historic vehicle special license plate under NCGS 20-79.4.

2. It is maintained primarily for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, and other public interest functions.

3. It is used only occasionally for other purposes.

4. It is owned by an individual.

5. It is used by the owner for a purpose other than the production of income and is not used in connection with a business.

Antique automobiles are designated a special class of property under Article V, Sec. 2(2) of the North Carolina Constitution and must be assessed for taxation in accordance with this section. An antique automobile must be assessed at the lower of its true value or five hundred dollars ($500.00). (NCGS 105-330.9)

Value appeals on registered motor vehicles may be requested within 30 days of the date taxes are due on the vehicle under (NCGS 105-330.4). An owner who appeals the appraised value must pay the tax on the vehicle when due, subject to a full or partial refund if the appeal is decided in the owner's favor (NCGS 105-330.4). Please contact our office at 919-989-5120 for more information on obtaining the antique automobile value for your vehicle.


Prorated Refund

If the owner of a classified motor vehicle listed pursuant to NCGS 105-330.3(a)(1) either transfers the motor vehicle to a new owner or moves out-of-state and registers the vehicle in another jurisdiction, and the owner surrenders the registration plates from the listed vehicle to the Division of Motor Vehicles, then the owner may apply for a release or refund of taxes on the vehicle for any full calendar months remaining in the vehicle's tax year after the date of surrender.

To apply for a prorated refund, please submit a copy of the FS20 (tag surrender receipt) and proof of ownership change or a copy of the new registration if the vehicle has been registered in another state. Proof of ownership may include a bill of sale identifying the vehicle by VIN signed and dated by both buyer and seller or a copy of the title front and back signed by all parties and notarized. If the vehicle was repossessed, please provide a letter from the lien holder that ownership of the vehicle has permanently transferred to them. If the vehicle was traded, a copy of the trade in paperwork for the purchase of the new vehicle will be considered. This information must be provided within one year of the tag surrender date recorded on the receipt received from the Division of Motor Vehicles accepting surrender of the registration plates (NCGS 105-330.6).

Documentation may be mailed (PO Box 451, Smithfield, NC 27577), emailed (mvbilling@johnstonnc.com), faxed (919-989-5614) or provided in person to our office at 207 E Johnston St, Smithfield, NC.


International Registration Plan

Please click a topic below and the answer will be provided for you!

Should be reported on a Business Personal Property Listing Form if owned as of January 1st.

Should be reported on a Business Personal Property Listing Form if owned as of January 1st.

Should be reported on either a Real & Personal Property Listing form if individually owned, or on a Business Personal Property Listing Form owned by a business if owned as of January 1st .


Frequently Asked Questions

Please click a question below and the answer will be provided for you!

Taxes are due on the date the owner applies for a new registration, or the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which the registration renewal sticker expires. (NCGS 105-330.4)

No. You cannot renew your vehicle's registration, whether it is leased or owned, unless the total taxes and registration fees on the vehicle are paid in full. (NCGS 105-330.4)

Taxes due on the notice are for the coming year and cover the same period as the vehicle registration.

No. Vehicle property taxes on leased motor vehicles must be paid in full at the time of renewal. A copy of the combined tag and tax notice will now be sent to the vehicle lessee rather than the leasing company.

Yes. State law requires that interest be charged on late vehicle property tax payments and on late registration renewals. (NCGS 105-330.4)

Your property tax amount will be included on the new combined notice along with your county and municipality tax rates.

Vehicle property taxes are paid to the NCDMV, therefore Johnston County cannot provide a receipt of taxes paid. Attached to your vehicle's State of North Carolina Registration Card, is a NC Division of Motor Vehicles Receipt of Fees Paid. This receipt should be retained along with the registration card. If you do not have this, you may contact the NCDMV Call Center at 919-814-1779.

No. If you have paid your vehicle property tax for the year and then transfer the license plate to another vehicle, you will not be eligible for a refund of the taxes paid. The registered motor vehicle to which the plates are transferred will not be taxed until its current registration is renewed.

An owner can apply for a refund of taxes paid when a motor vehicle is sold or registered out of state. The refund will be calculated on any full calendar months remaining in the registration period after the license plate is surrendered to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Any municipal vehicle tax assessed in accordance with NC General Statute 20-97 is not subject to proration or refund. Within one year of surrendering the license plates, the owner must present the following to the county tax office: (1) Proof of plate surrender to NCDMV (DMV Form FS20); and (2) Copy of the Bill of Sale or the new state's registration. For additional information please click this Prorated Refund link.

Military service members, who are currently on active duty in North Carolina with a home of record in another state, may not be subject to registered motor vehicle taxes in North Carolina. Military spouses may also qualify for exemption on registered motor vehicles if their home of record is the same as the qualifying service member's. For requirements, click the following Registered Motor Vehicle Exemption

Address changes are requested through NCDMV by going to your local license plate agency. You may also contact the NCDMV call center at 919-814-1779. The County cannot update or correct addresses. Once the address is updated, the taxes will be recalculated based on the address change.

If your address is correct but the tax districts shown on your renewal notice, or your NC Division of Motor Vehicles Receipt of Fees Paid, are not please contact the Johnston County Tax Office at 919-989-5120. You may also email us at mvbilling@johnstonnc.com. If emailing, please attach a copy of the receipt of fees paid or a copy of the renewal notice.

If you receive a renewal notice for a vehicle you no longer own and you do not intend to transfer the plate to another vehicle, then you do not owe the registration fee or taxes.

You will first need to contact NCDMV at 919-814-1779 to get the correct amount to pay based on the vehicle the plate is now on. You may also visit your local license plate agency to have this updated and pay in person.

No. However, you are required by NCGS 105-330.3 to list the vehicle with the county it is located in by January 31st following the date the registration expires and each year by January 31st that it is not registered. If you are not renewing the registration, then the taxes will not be collected by the NCDMV.