Tax Staff & Divisions

Robeson County Tax Office
500 N Elm St, Room 103
Lumberton, NC 28358
Phone: 910.671.3060

The Tax Administrator
Cindy Lowry
The Tax Administrator servers as both County Assessor and County Tax Collector and is responsible for the administration of Robeson County’s ad valorem tax system. The system includes; listing and assessment of all real and personal property and Motor Vehicles located in the county; Tax Collection, Land Records/Mapping & GIS, and the reappraisal of all real property.

This Department consists of three divisions:
Assessment Division
Real Property Assessment Section
Reappraisal Section
Personal Property Assessment Section
Individual Personal Property Section
Motor Vehicle Section
Business Personal Property section
Tax Collections Divisions
Customer Service Section
Delinquent Collections Sections
Land Records & GIS Division
Land Records & Mapping Section
GIS & Addressing Section

Real Property Assessment

Robeson County real property is permanently listed. It is not necessary for you to file a listing with the County Assessor unless; improvements, new construction, demolition, or removal of buildings was done to your real property during the prior year; you currently receive the present use deferment but no longer qualify under the provisions of the program; you currently receive the elderly/disabled exemption but no longer qualify under the provisions of the program of real property is established as of January 1st of the tax year. Transfer of ownership during the year does not relieve the seller of tax liability. The assessed value, property values is established as of January 1 of the last countywide reappraisal. Changes in assessed value between reappraisals are made to reflect changes made to the property, such as; new construction, demolitions, remodeling, change in zoning, or to correct errors and misapplication of the schedule of values. Assessed values should reflect “Fair Market Value” as of January 1 of the last reappraisal.

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 making written request to the County Assessor, Clerk to the Board, 500 N Elm St. Room 103, Lumberton, NC 28358. 

Real Property Reappraisal/Revaluation
North Carolina General Statutes require that all counties conduct a reappraisal of real property at least every eight years. Due to the rapid changes taking place in the local real estate market, the Robeson County Board of Commissioners is considering to authorize reappraisals every four years. More frequent reappraisals reduce the amount of inequity that occurs due to certain areas and property types increasing in value faster than others. Robeson County’s most recent reappraisal becomes effective on January 1, 2018. During the reappraisal process the Appraisal Section develops a uniform schedule of values by analyzing; cost data, sales data, and income data. This schedule of values is then adopted by the Robeson County Board of Commissioners. The purpose of the uniform schedule of values is to insure equity in valuations.

The county is divided into approximately 600 “appraisal neighborhoods.” Properties within each of these neighborhoods share many common characteristics and are affected by similar influences. Each appraiser has responsibility for a certain area of the county and the neighborhoods therein. During the reappraisal process the appraisal staff reviews all recent sales of real property within each neighborhood and applies adjustments to bring each property in line with its current market value. As a result of reappraisal, property values change accordingly to reflect the market trends within their neighborhood and property type. It would be simple for the Appraisal Section to appraise all recent sales at their sales price. This would not be equitable or accurate because not all sales are “arm’s- length” transactions. Sales between family members, related corporations, sales that are gifts, or sales involving trades do not always reflect market value. The needs and compulsions of the buyers and sellers may also influence sales prices. For example, a property may sell for less than market value if the seller is highly motivated or under duress to sell due to financial difficulties, relocation, and etc. A property may sell for higher than market value because; an organization negotiates a price for property not currently being marketed, a person moves from an area of higher prices and buys without fully investigating the market, etc. By analyzing all available sales the Appraisal Section can allow for unusual circumstances. The application of a schedule of values will not exactly match every sales price; however, it will insure that similar properties are assessed equitably.

 

Present Use Valuation
The Present Use Program (sometimes known as Farm Use) is a state mandated program designed to give relief to specific landowners for property that is being used for the production of agricultural, horticultural or forestry products. To qualify there are ownership, minimum acreage, income, and sound management requirements. Present use is a deferment not an exemption. If the property is removed from the program, taxes on the difference between the use value and the market value will become due for the current year and the three prior years, plus interest. For more information on this program contact the Appraisal Section for a present use deferment application.

Historical
Historical property is real property designated as a historic structure or site by a local ordinance adopted by the Historical Property Commission. Property that is classified as historical shall be taxed on the basis of fifty percent (50%) of the true appraised value. After property has been designated as historical property, the owner is required to contact the Tax Administrator’s Office for a historical property application.  The deferred taxes will not become due unless or until the property loses it’s eligibility for the benefit of this classification. This could occur because of a change in an ordinance designation or a change in the property which causes it’s historical significance to be lost or substantially impaired. 
Personal Property Assessment

Individual Personal Property includes boats, boat motors, jet skis, mobile homes, aircraft (including hot air balloons and gliders), and unlicensed vehicles (including automobiles, trucks, trailers, campers, and motorcycles). Listing must be returned annually and must be submitted by January 31 to avoid the 10% late listing penalty. Extensions until April 15 may be granted upon written request, if the request is postmarked by January 31. All those who own individual personal property on January 1 are required to list. If you listed with this office last year, a listing form will be mailed to you at your address of record. If you do not receive a listing form for property, which you are required to list, it is your responsibility to obtain the proper form from the Individual Personal Property Section (910) 671-3060

Business Personal Property includes machinery, equipment, computers, furniture, fixtures, supplies, airplanes, farm machinery, race cars, and any other income producing personal property. Listing must be returned annually and must be submitted by January 31 to avoid the 10% late listing penalty. Extensions until April 15 may be granted, for good cause, upon written request,  the request must be postmarked by January 31. All those who own business personal property on January 1 are required to list. If you listed with this office last year, a listing form will be mailed to you at your address of record. If you do not receive a listing form for property, which you are required to list, it is your responsibility to obtain the proper form from the Business Personal Property Section (910) 671-3060, Ext 241 or email shirley.chavis@co.robeson.nc.us.

Tax Collections Division

The Tax Collector Division is responsible for the collection of taxes and fees. Real and personal property tax bills are mailed in August of each year and become due on September 1. These bills must be paid by January 5 of the following year to avoid interest and additional penalties. After January 5 all past due accounts are assessed an interest charge of 2% on January 6 and an additional ¾% is added on the first day of each month thereafter until the bill is paid in full. During the month of March all unpaid real estate taxes will be advertised in the newspaper and an advertising fee is added to the unpaid bill. Enforced collections may begin when bills first become delinquent. Legal remedies of collection may include garnishment of wages or rents, attachment of bank accounts, foreclosure, debt setoff on income tax returns, levy on rents and/or other money due you and seizure of vehicle or other personal property.

Ownership of real property is established on January 1 of the tax year. Transfer of ownership during the year does not relieve the seller of tax liability. Taxes are ordinarily prorated at the time of transfer of ownership. This is a private contract between the buyer and seller; the seller will receive any bills issued for the year of transfer and is responsible to see that the appropriate party pays the tax bill. Both the buyer’s and seller’s name will be advertised for past due taxes if the property sold during the year. If you have questions concerning how your taxes were prorated, contact your realtor or closing attorney. If you wish to insure that you have no tax liability, you may request that payment be made to the Tax Collector at the time of closing. If current year taxes are not yet due, we will accept prepayments based on the previous year’s rate.

Registered motor vehicle bills are mailed monthly (for more information refer to Registered Motor Vehicles). Motor vehicle bills are due on the first day of the fourth month following the date you renewed your tag or buy a new tag. You have 30 days to pay the bill before interest will be added. An interest charge of 2% is added when the bill first becomes past due and an additional 3/4% is added on the first day of each month thereafter until the bill is paid in full. If the bill is not paid by the fourth month after it becomes due a block is placed on the registration and you will not receive renewal information from DMV. Once your registration has been blocked you will not be able to renew the tag until the tax bill is paid and you receive an MAV-2 form from the Tax Collector’s Office.

If you sell a vehicle and surrender the tag to the Department of Motor Vehicles you may be due a refund or a pro-rated tax bill. You will need to bring the Tax Collector two documents, a bill of sale on the vehicle that you sold and the receipt that you will receive from the Department of Motor Vehicle when you surrender the tag. There may also be a refund for motor vehicles that are moved out of the state of North Carolina. The two documents required are, a copy of your current states registration card and the receipt from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle showing that you have surrendered the North Carolina tag.
The Tax Collector Division also collects fees for; special assessments, schedule B, beer and wine licenses, and mobile home moving permits.

Mapping & GIS Division
The Land Records/Mapping Department uses a collection of computer technology, orthophotography, and land records to update and maintain the County’s property records. This collection of base maps, land features, and values are used to compile our Geographic Information System (GIS). With this system, tracts of land are assigned Parcel Identification Numbers (PIN) which geographically locates that property. This PIN is then used by other county departments to update and maintain the parcel information such as: owner, acreage, value, and zoning. Our maps are the basis of information on which many other departments rely. For example: E-911 addressing, along with Planning & Zoning, utilizes the GIS system daily to conduct their various duties. Our staff members develop and maintain the Land Records/Mapping system, as well as assist the general public.