• Tax Office

  • Department:

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: Who has to list property?
ANSWER: All owners of property subject to ad valorem taxation shall list their property annually.
QUESTION: What do I list?
ANSWER: The taxpayer is responsible for listing two types of property if they own these types:
  Personal property - is property that is not permanently affixed to real property.  Such items to be listed by residential taxpayers include non-tagged motor vehicles, mobile homes, boats, boat motors and aircrafts.  Business personal property is to be listed by businesses, including all property used in connection with income producing property, which has been classified as real property.
  Real property - is land and also building, structures, improvements, and permanent fixtures thereon, and all the rights and privileges belonging or in any way appertaining thereto.  Taxable real property shall be listed in the name of the January 1st owner, and it shall be the owner’s duty to list it.  However, in Onslow County, the county commissioners have adopted a permanent listing system whereby real property is listed automatically for the taxpayers once a deed is recorded with the Register of Deeds office.  Any changes made to a building, or new buildings constructed, must be reported during the annual listing period.  The tax bill is always generated for the January 1st owner of the real property.
QUESTION: When do I list? 
ANSWER: The period during which property is to be listed for taxation each year shall begin on the first business day of the month of January and shall continue through the month of January.  Individual extensions of time to list personal property shall be granted upon written request and for good cause shown.  The extension request must be filed no later than the ending date of the regular listing period and shall not be granted to extend beyond March 15th.  Failure to list personal property within the regular listing period shall result in a failure to list penalty of ten (10%) percent.
QUESTION: Where do I list? 
ANSWER: The property owned by the taxpayer shall be listed in the county where the property is “more or less permanently located.”
QUESTION: How do I list? 
ANSWER: The Onslow County assessor’s office, prior to the 1st week in January, mails listing forms to taxpayers that listed taxable personal property in the county in the previous year.  If a taxpayer does not receive a listing form and has personal property subject to taxation, the taxpayer should request one from the Onslow County Tax Office Listings Division.  After receiving the form, the taxpayer should complete all sections and return it during the month of January. Listing forms are also mailed to taxpayers who acquired real estate during the previous year.
QUESTION: Who has the authority to review my listing? 
ANSWER: After a listing of property has been carefully reviewed, the assessor may require any person operating a business enterprise in the county to submit a detailed inventory, statement of assets and liabilities, or other similar information pertinent to the discovery or appraisal of property taxable in the county. (NCGS  105-296(h)).  This is done to insure that the taxpayer has properly listed all taxable assets.
QUESTION: What happens if I fail to list? 
ANSWER: It shall be the duty of the assessor of Onslow County to ensure that all property subject to taxation is listed.  When property is discovered that the taxpayer failed to list, the assessor has the duty to list for the current year and previous years (up to 5 yrs.) for which the property went unlisted.  A penalty of (10%) percent shall be added to the bill for every listing period that expired before the property was discovered. This applies to personal property and real estate improvements.
QUESTION: How much tax will I pay? 
ANSWER: This is determined by 2 basic elements:
  1)  The assessed value of the property
  2)  The tax rate
 If the property is located within a municipality, the city rate and county rate must be added.
 The amount of tax then is determined by the following method:
  Value of the property  x  tax rate   =  tax amount
QUESTION: How will I be billed?
ANSWER: It takes several months to process all the listings that come into the tax department in January.  After this is complete and the rates are set, a tax bill is normally mailed during the month of July.  If a taxpayer failed to get a bill and knows that they should have received one, contact assessor’s office.
QUESTION: When does my bill become due? 
ANSWER: The tax bill becomes due on September 1st. Interest begins if not paid by January 6th.
QUESTION: What if I am billed incorrectly? 
ANSWER: Contact the assessor’s office immediately to notify us of the error.
QUESTION: How do I appeal? 
ANSWER: The valuation of your personal property must be appealed within 30 days from the date of the bill.  The burden of proof will remain with the taxpayer.  The valuation of your real property will need to be appealed prior to the adjournment of the Onslow County Board of Equalization and Review.  A request to be heard by the Board of Equalization and Review should be mailed during January and February.  The board will convene during the month of April. Dates and times of the meetings and adjournment date will be advertised in the newspaper. Any appeals of real property value cannot be heard after this adjournment date.
QUESTION: What if I do not pay on time? 
ANSWER: Annual taxes for real estate and personal property are due on September 1, and interest begins if not paid by January 6th. Property taxes are not based on income or the ability to pay. Property taxes are an "ad valorem" tax, which means "according to value".  If taxes remain unpaid, the taxpayer is subject to various statutory collection remedies including bank attachment, wage garnishment, and foreclosure. You should contact the tax collector’s office at (910) 989-2202 for further information.


Vehicle taxes are due 30 days from the date of the tax bill. Failure to pay will result in interest charges and statutory collection remedies.