Frequently Asked Questions SEARCH AND PAY TAXES

Click on one of the topics below to get answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

Real Estate

Motor Vehicles

Tax Payments

Real Estate

I sold this property - Why am I getting this bill?
North Carolina Law states that all taxable real property shall be listed in the name of the owner as of January 1st each year. If this is a bill for real property that you sold on or after January 1 of the current year, please forward a copy of the tax bill the current owner. It is our policy to notify the new owner as soon as possible, and you can assist in this process by sending this information to the current owner in a timely manner.

When are my taxes due and when does interest begin?
Property taxes are due and payable September 1, of the current year and interest begins on January 6 of the following year at a rate of 2% and increases by 3/4 of 1% per month until paid. Interest and penalties are determined by the U.S. Postal postmark, postal meter dates are not accepted.

My mortgage company should pay this bill. Why am I getting it?
Even if you have an escrow account with a mortgage company on this property, the bill will be sent to you, with the escrow companies or their agent who request tax information will be notified electronically. The Tax Office depends on the mortgage company to determine what bills they require for payment. If you received the bill and you think the mortgage company should pay this bill, please contact your mortgage company.

May I Make Partial Payments?
Partial payments may be made from the time you receive your tax bill until January 6 of the following year.

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Motor Vehicles

NCDMV License Plate Agency Telephone - 828-437-4505 (Morganton office)

Did I pay vehicle taxes when I bought my tag?

No, any taxes or fees paid at that time were state highway use taxes. The tax bill generated by Burke County is an Ad Valorem tax bill generated annually by Burke County.

When does my motor vehicle tax come due?
You are billed within 90 days of tag renewal. You are given 1 month to pay before interest starts. Four months after becoming delinquent,once a block is placed on your tag, before you can renew your tag, the taxes will have to be paid and a recepit (MAV-2) presented at the Tag Agency..

Explain what happens when you transfer or turn in your tag
Tag Transfer: When you transfer a tag to another vehicle, you pay the tax based on the vehicle the tag was on when the tag was renewed. When the tag is renewed on the new vehicle, then the taxes will be based on that vehicle.

When you turn in your tag, NCDMV staff will provide you a FS 20 form. This form should be taken or mailed to the Tax Listing Office. Once this form is received, Tax Office Staff will review this information and if it qualified will prorate your taxes for the months the tag was surrendered. If the bill has been paid, a refund for the difference will be processed. . WE CANNOT PRORATE TAXES OR REDUCE MOTOR VEHICLE TAX BILLS WITHOUT THE FS20 FORM. This form must be received within one year of the tags surrender.


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Tax Payments

Burke County offers four ways you can pay your property taxes:

  • Online, here at this web site. Just search your record, add to the cart and pay via PayPal. A 2.2% convenience fee plus a $0.30 transaction fee will be added to your total taxes due. Click HERE to search, view and pay your taxes.
  • Mail your payments to: Burke County Tax Collector, P. O. Box 219, Morganton, NC 28680-0219. Payment should be in the form of a check, money order or certified check. Please be sure to include your account number and/or record number.
  • Pay in person, at the Tax Collection office located at 110 North Green Street, Morganton, NC 28655-3422. This office accepts cash, check, money order and certified check .
  • Over the phone, by calling 1-866-225-9634, effective August 1, 2010. Have your credit card ready and the record number from the tax bill. A 2.2% convenience fee plus a $0.30 transaction fee will be added to your total taxes due. These payments are received by the tax office and applied to your record within 3 to 6 days.
  • Burke County also has the convenience of an after-hours drop box located at the 110 North Green Street location. This is a green mail box located at the east end of the Burke County Services Building. Payments should be in the form of a check, money order or certified check. Please be sure to include your account number and/or record number.

Please make checks payable to Burke County Tax Collector.


What methods of payment can be used to pay taxes online?
Any of the four major credit cards American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa or a PayPal account. A PayPal account is not required to pay by credit card.

Can partial payments be made online?
Yes, partial payments can be paid on line. Partial payments may also be mailed or paid at the Tax Office with cash, check, money order, or certified check.

What if my tag is blocked?
Blocked tags may be paid online or in person using cash, money order, or certified check. Personal checks are not accepted on blocked tags.

When will my payment be posted when paid online?
Credit card payments are posted to the tax system in 1-3 business days after the date of the transaction.  Once posted this information will be reflected on our website on the next day. Blocks will be removed the following business day.

Why are processing fees and transaction fees charged when paying online?
These fees are charged by PayPal to cover payment transactions made on the web site and this fee is not retained by Burke County.

Can credit card or debit card payments be made at the Tax Department?
Not at this time.

Will I receive a receipt when my payment is made online?
After completing your payment transaction, you will be able to print a paid receipt.


Will I be able to take a receipt to the tag office to get my renewal?
Yes, after completing the payment transaction you will be able to print a paid receipt.


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