If you live in one of Guilford County’s towns and cities and you don’t pay your property taxes – well, the people coming to collect that money from you will be the same familiar faces for another three years.
The Guilford County Tax Department has reached an agreement with the county’s municipalities that call for the department to collect property taxes for them, and, in return, the county gets to keep a slice of the pie.
“This will be over a three-year period and include the existing rate of 62-hundredths of a percent that we are currently charging municipalities every fiscal year,” said Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis.
The new contract comes on the heels of an older “interlocal agreement” between the county and the municipalities that have a property tax: Archdale, Burlington, Gibsonville, Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown, Kernersville, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Garden, Sedalia, Summerfield and Whitsett.
The county tax department will also, of course, collect property taxes for Guilford County during the next three years.
The county’s tax department has been highly aggressive under Chavis and his staff in recent years. The property tax collection rate in Guilford County is consistently among the very best in the state and, over the past decade, the department has become quicker to foreclose on property and has implemented an “eyes in the sky” detection tool that uses aerial photographs and mapping software to discover when a property owner has added a storage unit, a pool or even a deck.
Tax collection officials are generally very nice – Chavis is even a minister – but they don’t like being portrayed as such. The Rhino Times used to refer to former Guilford County Tax Director Francis Kinlaw as “the nicest man in county government.” However, Kinlaw complained frequently about that characterization because he believed that, if property owners thought the tax collector was nice, they would be less likely to pay their taxes.