105-312. Discovered property; appraisal; penalty.

(a) Repealed by Session Laws 1991, c. 34, s. 4.

(b) Duty to Discover and Assess Unlisted Property. - It shall be the duty of the assessor to see that all property not properly listed during the regular listing period be listed, assessed and taxed as provided in this Subchapter. The assessor shall file reports of such discoveries with the board of commissioners in such manner as the board may require.

(c) Carrying Forward Real Property. - At the close of the regular listing period each year, the assessor shall compare the tax lists submitted during the listing period just ended with the lists for the preceding year, and he shall carry forward to the lists of the current year all real property that was listed in the preceding year but that was not listed for the current year. When carried forward, the real property shall be listed in the name of the taxpayer who listed it in the preceding year unless, under the provisions of G.S. 105-302, it must be listed in the name of another taxpayer. Real property carried forward in this manner shall be deemed to be discovered property, and the procedures prescribed in subsection (d), below, shall be followed unless the property discovered is listed in the name of the taxpayer who listed it for the preceding year and the property is not subject to appraisal under either G.S. 105-286 or G.S. 105-287 in which case no notice of the listing and valuation need be sent to the taxpayer.

(d) Procedure for Listing, Appraising, and Assessing Discovered Property. - Subject to the provisions of subsection (c), above, and the presumptions established by subsection (f), below, discovered property shall be listed by the assessor in the name of the person required by G.S. 105-302 or G.S. 105-306. The discovery shall be deemed to be made on the date that the abstract is made or corrected pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. The assessor shall also make a tentative appraisal of the discovered property in accordance with the best information available to him.

When a discovery is made, the assessor shall mail a notice to the person in whose name the discovered property has been listed. The notice shall contain the following information:

(1) The name and address of the person in whose name the property is listed;

(2) A brief description of the property;

(3) A tentative appraisal of the property;

(4) A statement to the effect that the listing and appraisal will become final unless written exception thereto is filed with the assessor within 30 days from date of the notice.

Upon receipt of a timely exception to the notice of discovery, the assessor shall arrange a conference with the taxpayer to afford him the opportunity to present any evidence or argument he may have regarding the discovery. Within 15 days after the conference, the assessor shall give written notice to the taxpayer of his final decision. Written notice shall not be required, however, if the taxpayer signs an agreement accepting the listing and appraisal. In cases in which agreement is not reached, the taxpayer shall have 15 days from the date of the notice to request review of the decision of the assessor by the board of equalization and review or, if that board is not in session, by the board of commissioners. Unless the request for review by the county board is given at the conference, it shall be made in writing to the assessor. Upon receipt of a timely request for review, the provisions of G.S. 105-322 or G.S. 105-325, as appropriate, shall be followed.

(e) Record of Discovered Property. - When property is discovered, the taxpayer's original abstract (if one was submitted) may be corrected or a new abstract may be prepared to reflect the discovery. If a new abstract is prepared, it may be filed with the abstracts that were submitted during the regular listing period, or it may be filed separately with abstracts designated "Late Listings." Regardless of how filed, the listing shall have the same force and effect as if it had been submitted during the regular listing period.

(f) Presumptions. - When property is discovered and listed to a taxpayer in any year, it shall be presumed that it should have been listed by the same taxpayer for the preceding five years unless the taxpayer shall produce satisfactory evidence that the property was not in existence, that it was actually listed for taxation, or that it was not his duty to list the property during those years or some of them under the provisions of G.S. 105-302 and G.S. 105-306. If it is shown that the property should have been listed by some other taxpayer during some or all of the preceding years, the property shall be listed in the name of the appropriate taxpayer for the proper years, but the discovery shall still be deemed to have been made as of the date that the assessor first listed it.

(g) Taxation of Discovered Property. - When property is discovered, it shall be taxed for the year in which discovered and for any of the preceding five years during which it escaped taxation in accordance with the assessed value it should have been assigned in each of the years for which it is to be taxed and the rate of tax imposed in each such year. The penalties prescribed by subsection (h) of this section shall be computed and imposed regardless of the name in which the discovered property is listed. If the discovery is based upon an understatement of value, quantity, or other measurement rather than an omission from the tax list, the tax shall be computed on the additional valuation fixed upon the property, and the penalties prescribed by subsection (h) of this section shall be computed on the basis of the additional tax.

(h) Computation of Penalties. - Having computed each year's taxes separately as provided in subsection (g), above, there shall be added a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the amount of the tax for the earliest year in which the property was not listed, plus an additional ten percent (10%) of the same amount for each subsequent listing period that elapsed before the property was discovered. This penalty shall be computed separately for each year in which a failure to list occurred; and the year, the amount of the tax for that year, and the total of penalties for failure to list in that year shall be shown separately on the tax records; but the taxes and penalties for all years in which there was a failure to list shall be then totalled on a single tax receipt.

(h1) Repealed by Session Laws 1991, c. 624, s. 8.

(i) Collection. - For purposes of tax collection and foreclosure, the total figure obtained and recorded as provided in subsection (h) of this section shall be deemed to be a tax for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 of the calendar year in which the property was discovered. The schedule of discounts for prepayment and interest for late payment applicable to taxes for the fiscal year referred to in the preceding sentence shall apply when the total figure on the single tax receipt is paid. Notwithstanding the time limitations contained in G.S. 105-381, any property owner who is required to pay taxes on discovered property as herein provided shall be entitled to a refund of any taxes erroneously paid on the same property to other taxing jurisdictions in North Carolina. Claim for refund shall be filed in the county where such tax was erroneously paid as provided by G.S. 105-381.

(j) Tax Receipts Charged to Collector. - Tax receipts prepared as required by subsections (h) and (i) of this section for the taxes and penalties imposed upon discovered property shall be delivered to the tax collector, and he shall be charged with their collection. Such receipts shall have the same force and effect as if they had been delivered to the collector at the time of the delivery of the regular tax receipts for the current year, and the taxes charged in the receipts shall be a lien upon the property in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 105-355.

(k) Power to Compromise. - After a tax receipt computed and prepared as required by subsections (g) and (h) of this section has been delivered and charged to the tax collector as prescribed in subsection (j), above, the board of county commissioners, upon the petition of the taxpayer, may compromise, settle, or adjust the county's claim for taxes arising therefrom. The board of commissioners may, by resolution, delegate the authority granted by this subsection to the board of equalization and review, including any board created by resolution pursuant to G.S. 105-322(a) and any special board established by local act.

(l) Municipal Corporations. - The provisions of this section shall apply to all cities, towns, and other municipal corporations having the power to tax property. Such governmental units shall designate an appropriate municipal officer to exercise the powers and duties assigned by this section to the assessor, and the powers and duties assigned to the board of county commissioners shall be exercised by the governing body of the unit. When the assessor discovers property having a taxable situs in a municipal corporation, he shall send a copy of the notice of discovery required by subsection (d) to the governing body of the municipality together with such other information as may be necessary to enable the municipality to proceed. The governing board of a municipality may, by resolution, delegate the power to compromise, settle, or adjust tax claims granted by this subsection and by subsection (k) of this section to the county board of equalization and review, including any board created by resolution pursuant to G.S. 105-322(a) and any special board established by local act. (1939, c. 310, s. 1109; 1971, c. 806, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 193; c. 787; 1977, c. 864; 1981, c. 623, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 45, s. 1; c. 743, ss. 1, 2; 1989, c. 522; 1991, c. 34, s. 4; c. 624, s. 8; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 961, s. 12; 1999-297, s. 2.)