Want to ask a question? Click here

What became of Wilmington city tags for cars?

Ken Little
StarNews

At one time, the city issued tags that said “Wilmington”  that had to be displayed on the front of vehicles, but it stopped issuing tags years ago.

It does continue to charge a $5 fee for each vehicle, but no longer issues tags.

N.C. General Statutes Sections 106-213 and 20-97 authorize the city “to impose an annual license tax on motor vehicles” of not more than $5 per year “upon any vehicle resident in the city,” according to research by AssistantCity Attorney R. Lynn Coleman.

Section 20-97(b) goes on to add that “proceeds of the tax may be used for any lawful purpose.”

“That’s the authority under which the $5 is charged per vehicle that is listed as being “resident” in the city based on city tax records which are maintained by New Hanover County on the city’s behalf and collected by the county for the city, for a fee,” Coleman says.

Coleman says that because of the location of the authorizing statute, “it seems clear that the original intent of the measure was to allow cities to collect a tax per vehicle for the burden that each vehicle is estimated to add to city streets and other infrastructure that must be maintained by the city and not by the N.C. Department of Transportation.

“The legislature, however, saw fit to allow the funds to be used for any purpose and not just limited to use for street and infrastructure maintenance,” Coleman adds.

Coleman offers additional “pure conjecture”:

In past times, “it seemed a nice touch to be able to provide a front license plate to help monitor who had and had not paid their vehicle license tax,” she says.

“As times changed and procedures relating to manufacture of plates changed, it became cost prohibitive to issue a plate to verify payment of the tax and we now just use the paper records, as we do for payment of real property taxes and business inventory taxes,” Coleman says.

User-contributed question by:
Fred Gainey

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!


Bookmark and Share

2 Responses to “ What became of Wilmington city tags for cars?”

  1. On April 30, 2010 at 7:27 am mike k wrote:

    just another way to rob the public! Just like the “inspection fees” that we pay each year.

  2. On April 30, 2010 at 8:54 am Curious George wrote:

    Where can one purchase a Wilmington tag?



X
Ask a question
X

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.





Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Yes
Your question:

Post a comment
X

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.





Your comment: