Murfreesboro recovers uncollected property taxes
WINTON – A measure approved here Monday by the Hertford County Board of Commissioners will reimburse the Town of Murfreesboro nearly $13,000 for uncollected ad valorem taxes over a period of five years (2012-16).
The commissioners, after a closed session, returned to open session of their regularly scheduled meeting and approved a Tax Collection Administration Grant in the amount of $12,967.60. This came after the board members learned that a coding error in the Hertford County Tax Office was to blame for the uncollected municipal taxes on properties located within the Howard Hunter Villa.
The issue of the uncollected taxes arose through a sequence of events, according to Hertford County Manager Loria Williams.
“Hertford County has for many years collected taxes for the Town of Murfreesboro, pursuant to a contractual agreement, and remits collected taxes to the town, less an administrative fee,” Williams said. “Undeveloped subdivision property known as Howard Hunter Villa that once adjoined the Murfreesboro town limits was annexed by the town in 2002.”
Williams said at the time of the annexation, Howard Hunter Villa was owned by a 501(c)(3) organization as a low-income housing development, and not subject to ad valorem taxation.
“County officials were properly notified by Murfreesboro officials of the annexation; however, county officials did not properly code the property for town taxation,” Williams stated.
Ad valorem taxation, at both the county and municipal levels, started when lots in the Villa subdivision were subsequently sold to private individuals, beginning in 2010, who constructed homes there.
“For many years, property owners in that residential area received bills for county taxes, but not for town taxes, due to the coding error,” Williams noted. “During that time, property owners were receiving Town of Murfreesboro services such as water, sewer, trash collection, fire, police, etc.”
She added that in 2017 it was discovered that town tax bills had not been sent for prior years. Amended bills were sent to the property owners that same year, which included town taxes.
As part of the language in the Tax Collection Administration Grant, the Town of Murfreesboro agrees that any taxes collected for the years 2012-2016 for properties within the Howard Hunter Villa will be retained by or remitted to Hertford County local government.