Department Info

Hours of Operation

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Brian Garland
Tax Collector

Sandra Burleson
Deputy Tax Collector

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Tax Collector

Brian Garland

Brian Garland, Tax Collector

26 Crimson Laurel Circle, Suite 5
Bakersville,NC 28705
Fax: 828.688.9149

Department Mission Overview

The Mitchell County Tax Office is located beside the Sheriff’s Department at Crimson Laurel Circle in Bakersville, N.C.

The Mission of the Mitchell County Tax Department is to maximize the collection of taxes in Mitchell County while treating our citizens with respect and integrity. We will treat each taxpayer fairly and in a professional manner.

The Tax Collector’s Office performs the following duties:

  • Collection of all real and personal property tax including fire tax for (7) seven fire districts.
  • Collection of all motor vehicle taxes, including Bakersville and Spruce Pine city taxes for DMV.

Property taxes are due on September 1st of each year end payable until January 5th without penalty or interest. On January 6th a penalty of 2% is added to the balance due then ¾ of 1% interest is added the 1st day of each month thereafter. Delinquent notices are mailed in February of each year. If not paid by April any delinquent taxes are advertised in the Mitchell-News Journal

Payment of Taxes

Payment is received in the Tax Office by cash or check. Monthly installments can also be paid on current year taxes and on delinquent taxes with a signed payment agreement.

NEW! Pay Your Taxes Online

Mitchell County residents can now pay their property taxes by debit/credit card or by electronic check through our new online tax portal.

PLEASE NOTE: a convenience fee wil be charged by a third-party vendor who is providing the payment service.

To access the new online system, visit

Motor Vehicle Taxes (Tag and Tax Together)

Many questions have arisen following the implementation of the new Tag and Tax Together system in North Carolina. Here are some frequently asked questions with answers about how it works.

If you have further questions or need clarification on any issue below, please contact us at (828) 537-1627.

Q: Where do I need to go if my county code is not correct?
A: You must go the License Plate Agency (LPA) or contact the HB 1779 call center at (919) 814-1779.

Q: Where do I need to go if my address is not correct?
A: You must go the License Plate Agency (LPA) or contact the HB 1779 call center at (919) 814-1779.

Q : What if the county code and the address are correct; however, the tax district is incorrect?
A: The county must make this correction in the Vehicle Tax System (VTS).

Q: What if the tax was paid in the wrong county at the License Plate Agency?
A: This must be corrected at the same License Plate Agency (LPA) location if it is still within the 30-day window for a backout and the customer must provide plate, sticker, etc., received during the initial registration. If it is after the 30-day window or the title has printed, then the Reversal Process cannot be completed. The county will need to contact the NC Department of Revenue for assistance. We are currently working on an enhancement to the Vehicle Tax System (VTS) and the State Titling and Registration System (STARS) so this can be corrected.

Q: What if the tax was paid in the wrong county during an online registration or if
the License Plate Agency cannot backout the transaction?

A: You should contact the county in which the tax was paid and the county must contact the NC Department of Revenue to initiate the correction.

Q: Who should you contact if you have a question regarding your registration?
A: You should call the HB1779 call center at (919) 814-1779, not the License Plate Agency (LPA).

Q: Why is the tax value different than the value used for highway use tax?
A: Counties are required to use the retail value of the vehicle, whereas highway use
tax is calculated on its wholesale value.

Q: What if the I think that the vehicle should be exempt?
A: All exemption requests must be filed with the county (this process has not
changed). If the county approves the exemption, the county must then make the
adjustment in the Vehicle Tax System (VTS) to remove the tax.

Q: What if I have a vehicle and want to purchase a tag-issue plate service (IPS) and the the value is too high or the vehicle needs to be exempted by the county?
A: During the IPS transaction, you must pay the tax. You will then be able to appeal the value to the county within 30 days or apply for an exemption with the county and be issued a refund if applicable.

Q: Do taxes have to be paid when a new title is issued?
A: When a new title is issued, you may choose to pay the taxes or purchase a Limited Registration Plate (LRP) which will allow you to defer the taxes for 60 days. The LRP can only be issued for new title service.

Q: Do taxes have to be paid on International Registration Plan (IRP) vehicles?
A: IRP vehicles are not classified as registered motor vehicles under the new Tag &
Tax Together system. Therefore, no taxes will be paid during registration. These
vehicles must be listed with the counties by their owner as of ]anuary 1st during the
month ofjanuary each year.

Q: Are taxes due on public service utility vehicles?
A: Yes, but not at the time of registration. Public utility customers are encouraged to
purchase a Limited Registration Plate (LRP) when a new tide is issued in order for the county to properly code these records so taxes will not be charged.

Q: If a change is made and I do not pay the tax, will the system generate a new notice?
A: Yes, the system will generate a duplicate notice during an overnight process.
These notices are printed on Monday & Thursday nights. If an adjustment is made
in the Vehicle Tax System (VTS), the system will automatically generate a new notice. If the county makes a change on the location and/or county code, or the License Plate Agency (LPA) makes the change, you must request the notice to be generated by entering a "Y" for duplicate notice.

Q: Why is the amount of tax due different in the system than what is printed on my invitation to renew?
A: If there is not a match between the address entered by DMV / License Plate Agency (LPA) and the address in the county file, the system will recalculate the taxes based on the default district, which usually results in a higher tax. You can pay the amount and then ask the county for a refund or ask the LPA clerk to cancel the transaction. If you request the LPA to cancel the transaction, you must then contact the county to make the correction before the registration renewal can be

Q: What if the county code and the residential and/or location address are correct but the tax district is incorrect?
A: You have two options: you can pay the full amount and then ask the county to correct the district and issue you a refund, or you can visit the county to have the correction made before renewing the registration.

Q : What if I receive an invitation to renew on a vehicle that has been traded or sold and the plate has been transferred to a new vehicle?
A: When the plate is renewed, the taxes will be recalculated on the new vehicle. If
you request an estimate of the new tax amount, you can use the Tax Estimator on the DMV website or call (919) 814-1779.

Q: What if I receive an invitation to renew on a vehicle I do not plan to renew?
A: The taxes become due only if the registration is renewed. If the registration is
not renewed, the vehicle may still be subject to taxation by the county as an
unregistered vehicle.

Q: What if I state that I just paid my tax at the tax office and now I am being asked to pay again on the renewal?
A: This could occur if you did not make a timely payment on the previous year's tax andyour vehicle registration has been blocked. The past due taxes must be paid at the county tax office (in the old system) before the block can be removed and then the current tax (Tag & Tax Together) must be paid with the annual renewal registration. These could occur the same day. Over the past six months, county tax offices supplied citizens with information about the new Tag & Tax Together system and encouraged them to pay past due taxes to prevent this situation from happening.

Q: When I'm granted an insurance hearing and I receive a temporary cardboard plate, should I pay the property tax?
A: Yes, if  you are paying a registration fee then property tax should be charged.

Q: If I have been cleared following an insurance hearing or I need to pay the fine and get a metal plate with year sticker, should I pay the property tax if no registration fee is collected?
A: No, since there is no registration fee collected, taxes should not be collected.
Taxes were collected on the previous plate.

Q: Following an insurance hearing that requires me to turn in a temporary plate, I am required to wait 30 days before the vehicle can be registered again. When I return to pay the registration fee, do I have to pay the property tax?
A: Yes, if a registration fee is collected, then property taxes are collected.

Q: What is the difference between a Limited Registration Plate (LRP) and a temporary plate ?
A: A Limited Registration Plate (LRP) is a metal plate with a "T" sticker attached indicating that registration fees have been paid and the taxes have been deferred for two months past the initial month. Temporary plates are cardboard and have varying expiration dates and uses.