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.