Article 26.

Collection and Foreclosure of Taxes.

§ 105-349.  Appointment, term, qualifications, and bond of tax collectors and deputies.

(a) Appointment and Term. - The governing body of each county and municipality shall appoint a tax collector on or before July 1, 1971, to serve for a term to be determined by the appointing body and until his successor has been appointed and qualified. Until the first such appointments are made, county and municipal taxes shall be collected by the tax collectors presently serving under prior provisions of law. The governing body may remove the tax collector from office during his term for good cause after giving him notice in writing and an opportunity to appear and be heard at a public session of the governing body. No hearing shall be required, however, if the tax collector is removed for failing to meet the prerequisites prescribed by G.S. 105-352(b) for delivery of the tax receipts. Unless otherwise provided by G.S. 105-373, whenever any vacancy occurs in this office, the governing body shall appoint a qualified person to serve as tax collector for the period of the unexpired term.

(b) Qualifications. - The governing body shall appoint as tax collector a person of character and integrity whose experience in business and collection work is satisfactory to the governing body.

(c) Bond. - No tax collector shall be allowed to begin his duties until he shall have furnished bond conditioned upon his honesty and faithful performance in such amount as the governing body may prescribe. A tax collector shall not be permitted to collect any taxes not covered by his bond, nor shall a tax collector be permitted to continue collecting taxes after his bond has expired without renewal.

(d) Compensation. - The compensation and expense allowances of the tax collector shall be fixed by the governing body.

(e) Alternative to Separate Office of Tax Collector. - Pursuant to Article VI, Sec. 9, of the North Carolina Constitution, the office of tax collector is hereby declared to be an office that may be held concurrently with any appointive or elective office other than those hereinafter designated, and the governing body may appoint as tax collector any appointive or elective officer who meets the personal and bonding requirements established by this section. A member of the governing body of a taxing unit may not be appointed tax collector, nor may the duties of the office be conferred upon him. A person appointed or elected as the treasurer or chief accounting officer of a taxing unit may not be appointed tax collector, nor may the duties of the office of tax collector be conferred upon him except with the written permission of the secretary of the Local Government Commission who, before giving his permission, shall satisfy himself that the unit's internal control procedures are sufficient to prevent improper handling of public funds.

(f) Deputy Tax Collectors. - The governing body of a county or municipality is authorized to appoint one or more deputy tax collectors and to establish their terms of office, compensation, and bonding requirements. A deputy tax collector shall have authority to perform, under the direction of the tax collector, any act that the tax collector may perform unless the governing body appointing the deputy specifically limits the scope of the deputy's authority.

(g) Oath. - Every tax collector and deputy tax collector, as the holder of an office, shall take the oath required by Article VI, § 7 of the North Carolina Constitution with the following phrase added to it: "that I will not allow my actions as tax collector to be influenced by personal or political friendships or obligations,". The oath must be filed with the clerk of the governing body of the taxing unit. (1939, c. 310, ss. 1701, 1702; 1957, c. 537; 1971, c. 806, s. 1; 1991, c. 110, s. 6; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1007, s. 23.)