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Family says tax bill for old car too high


In this week's Troubleshooters report, a New Hanover County woman called to complain that her son's car tax bill is too high. Linda Bell says the county tax department valued her son's 1974 Volkswagen beetle at $2,400. She says the car doesn't even run, and can't be worth more than $500 or $600, which would mean a substantially lower tax bill.

New Hanover County Tax Administrators say they rely on a guidebook that has a range of values for the makes and models of all vehicles. They use the information in that book when calculating your tax bill.

"That's just the average, retail price," tax administrator Roger Kelley said. "Again this is a starting point, we do make adjustments for condition, we make adjustments for high mileage"

Kelley suspects that because the young man's vehicle is more than 25 years old, they may have valued it as an antique, which makes it more valuable. But he says if it's actually just an old clunker, the Bells can request an adjustment.

People who dispute the tax valuating of their vehicles can appeal within 30 days of the date their payment is due.

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tax on old motorcycle

I have a 1968 harley ironhead,, runs rough, lots of rust,, last year valued by the county for a couple of thousabd dolars,,,,,, this year it is valued at 75oo,,, i checked kelly blue book value and discovered the trade in value is 2200, retail dealer price is 3700 in pristine condition, with no visable flaws.... called tax office in new hanover county, they say the bike is "vintage or collectable" and the value is 4100 to 15,000... on line the most expensive bike i could find for sale in the united stated was 3500 and listed as totally rebuilt, new chrome paint etc,,,,, how can it be that the lowest value in the county is over a thausand dollars more than it could sell for in the best of circumstances,,,,,,,,, just heart breaking.
I am 70 and this old rusty bike is like the first one i had,,,, but waaaaaaayyyyyyy over valued for the tax grab by the county,,,, after allm these years thinking of getting rid of it

Some of the values I get

Some of the values I get from the county are well above KBB or NADA value. They are claiming the vehicle is worth a certain amount but it is only worth as much as someone will give you for it. Most people and all car lots will never give you the same value as the tax office is claiming it's worth. All I ever asked of them is to value my vehicle fairly, which is never done, even after going through the process of re-evaluation.

Get the tax issue resolved....

....then take your non-running junk and sell it for scrap or salvage. There are enough junky cars, refrigerators and matresses laying around in peoples yards as it is.


The car is not a piece of junk sitting in the backyard. It is in a garage.

tax values

Remember, government doesn't create revenue, it takes it. As government gets bigger it must find more creative ways to take your money. Don't be suprised if all of us find that we own very "valuable" & by implication very taxable items in the near future.

Antique vehicle tax value

Well Mr. Roger Kelley, you say if a vehicle is over 25 years old it is an antique? The state of NC sees it a little differently. In order to register a vehicle as an antique, and become exempt from safety inspections, the state requires the vehicle to be at least 35 years old.

More trouble than it is worth

You can appeal it but they want you to bring the vehicle to them so they can do a parking lot appraisal on it.

Sounds fishy to me

Why would someone continue to register, insure, and put plates on a vehicle that allegedly "doesn't even run"?? One would think if the vehicle was truly as useless as the owner is trying to claim, that it would be junked in someone's backyard collecting dust, not high-priced tax bills.

Considering that the vehicle in question here is a classic car, the assessment is likely fair.

the car is not junk

The car may be a classic car, but it is not being restored for show, is only a daily driver. If you do research as we have you will find that a car aged 35 years or older for show can be valued at no more than $500 with an Antique tag on it. But you can not drive the car on the road per the law. So if a car that has the value of a restored car with Antique tags can be valued at only $500 but worth more money wise, how can they put a value of $7,400 on a car that is a 1974 not restored but just used for a daily driver.
The car did have tags and insurance on it but I took them off because of the tax I was billed was $34.93 and then I had a revaluation and they reduced it to $9.40 which I paid but they did not give a value to the car, so my question what value are they giving it for the $9.40.
I also have a 1997 Chevy and the tax for 2009 is only $8.87 valued at $1730.
So here you have a car that is newer and in better shape where the tax value is less.
I just don't think that the value of cars are being done correctly and think that the laws should be followed.
One of the people at the tax department told me to put an Antique tag on it and he would reduce it to $500. I want to drive the car not show it so why would I want to do that?


I tell ya what I'll do, I'll give you $ 500.00 cash for it anytime you want to. Maybe $ 600.00

the car is not for sale

Can you people not understand that the car is to used as a daily car, to drive to and from work, and to get around town in?
Why can you people not understand the point was that the tax department would not show the true tax value of the auto, they would not show how they came up with the value and answer questions?
Now that this has aired on the tv Mr. Kelley has answered some of the questions.


the car doesnt have to be insured or taged but if the title is tltled in your name in north carolina no matter what the condition you owe what the state says its worth