Usually, people enjoy getting a little notoriety in the newspaper or on an online website.

However, that’s not true when the purpose of the publicity is to publicly shame you into doing the right thing.

And it’s that time of year again.

At the Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting last week, the board voted to go ahead and give Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis the green light to publicly advertise the names, addresses and amounts owed for every property owner in the county who has not yet paid their property taxes for 2023.

Officially, the board adopted a “Resolution ordering the advertisement of delinquent 2023 tax liens on real property.”

It is something that happens in every county, across the state, every year, and some people enjoy going through the list with fine tooth comb to see if they know anyone who’s on the naughty list that year.

 North Carolina law – NC General Statute 105-369 – requires that the tax director in each county report to the Board of Commissioners every year the total amount of unpaid taxes on real property.

Also, by law, upon receipt of the report of unpaid taxes, “the governing body must order the tax collector to advertise the tax liens that are delinquent.” Guilford County used to put the complete list in the News & Record, however, a change in state law now allows the county to save money and post the list online.

About 20 years ago, there were several times when the names of sitting Guilford County commissioners showed up on the published list to their great embarrassment.

However, one former tax director, the late Jenks Crayton, adopted the practice of calling any commissioners who were delinquent before the list was set. It was a courtesy call reminding them that it might be a good idea to get those property tax payments in pronto.