NEW YEAR BRINGS IMPORTANT COUNTY TAX DEADLINES

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Mecklenburg County residents and businesses that own boats, manufactured homes (mobile homes), farm tractors, airplanes, machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, supplies and any other income-producing personal property and unregistered motor vehicles as of January 1, 2010, are reminded that they must list these items with the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office soon.

Tax listings may be made by mail, or at the Assessor’s Office, Bob Walton Plaza, 700 E. Stonewall St., Suite 103, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The tax listing process will begin Friday, January 4, 2010, and end on Monday, February 1, 2010. All tax listings made by mail and postmarked by midnight February 1, 2010, will be accepted without penalty. Listings received after that date will be assessed a 10 percent penalty.

For those who qualify, several tax-relief programs are available:

Low Income Homestead Exclusion: North Carolina excludes from property taxes $25,000 or 50 percent (whichever is greater) of the assessed value for specific real property or manufactured homes occupied by owners as their permanent residence who meet the following qualifications as of January 1 preceding the taxable year for which the benefit is claimed. To qualify, homeowners must be:

1) At least 65 years old or totally and permanently disabled;
2) Report income for the preceding calendar year not more than $27,100 (income is defined as all money received from every source other than gifts or inheritances from a spouse, lineal ancestor or lineal descendant. For married applicants residing with their spouses, the income of both spouses must be included, whether or not the property is in both names);
3) Listed on the title as of January 1 as legal owner;
4) A resident of North Carolina.

Circuit Breaker Property Tax Deferment (payment postponement): This plan limits property taxes to a percentage of the owner’s income. For an owner whose income does not exceed the annual income eligibility limit for the Low Income Household Exclusion explained above, owners’ taxes are limited to 4 percent of their income.* For owners whose annual income exceeds the limit by not more than 150 percent, taxes will be limited to 5 percent of their income. The taxes exceeding the applicable percentage of the owner’s income will then become deferred (postponed) along with interest. To qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:

1) They must be least 65 years old or totally and permanently disabled;
2) Have an income for the preceding calendar year of not more than $40,650;* (150 percent of Low Income Homestead Exclusion);
3) Be the legal owner listed on the title as of January 1 for the past five years;
4) Must be a resident of North Carolina;
5) ALL owners of the property must apply and elect to defer the applicable portion of their taxes;
6) Application is required ANNUALLY.

Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans: North Carolina excludes from property taxes the first $45,000 of assessed value for specific real property or manufactured homes that are occupied by the owner as their permanent residence. To qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:

1) Must be honorably discharged veterans who have 100 percent total and permanent disability that is service connected;
2) Must have Veteran’s Disability Certification (NCDVA-9) and be able to provide a DD214 or DD215 form;
3) An applicant can be the unmarried and never remarried spouse of a qualifying deceased veteran;
4) An applicant can be a qualifying veteran with specially adapted housing per 38 U.S.C. 2101.

NOTE: Disability pensions are not service-connected.

* Income is defined as all money received from every source other than gifts or inheritances from a spouse, lineal ancestor or lineal descendant. For married applicants residing with their spouses, the income of both spouses must be included, whether or not the property is in both names.

You may obtain an application by calling CharMeck 311. The deadline to apply for these exclusion programs is June 1, 2010.

For more information, visit the Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor’s Office Web site at http://bit.ly/1ZHyFi.>

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