Santa Claus’s list of people who have been naughty that year comes out right before Christmas.

However, the Guilford County Tax Director’s list of property owners in the county who’ve been naughty comes out in March – and, on Wednesday, March 15 Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis put out the Tax Department’s list – a list of people who have had time to pay their 2022 property taxes but still have not.

The naming of those who have not paid up is essentially a public shaming meant to encourage laggards to pay before the Tax Department takes their house away – something the department is doing these days much more of than 10 or 15 years ago.

In the past the list has been published in newspapers of record, however, because of a new state law the county has been able to move to a much less expensive model, posting the list on the county’s website and sending copies to the media in the form of a press release.

Many nosy county residents like to read through the list each year and see if any friends, neighbors of political enemies made the list.  Years ago, quite a few Guilford County commissioners showed up on the list periodically even though the department back then would call them up ahead of time and give them a heads up that they would be named if they didn’t pay up quick.

The list is posted under the “Legal Notices” link on Guilford County government’s front page.  The address is

Chavis released the following statement with the Wednesday, March 15 notice.

“Under and by virtue of the power vested in me by the laws of the State of North Carolina, particularly by Chapter 806 Session Laws of 1971 and set forth in GS 105-369, and pursuant to the Commissioners of Guilford County, I hereby advertise all real estate properties in the attached document for the unpaid Guilford County taxes, owing for the year 2022,” he stated.

Chavis added: “The amounts advertised have been increased by interest and costs and the omission of interest and cost from the amounts advertised will not constitute a waiver of the taxing unit’s claim for those costs.  The taxing unit may foreclose the tax liens and sell the real property subject to the liens in satisfaction of its claim for taxes.”