Article 52.

County Vehicle Registration Tax.

105-570. County Vehicle Registration Tax; shared with municipalities.

(a) A county is considered an authority under Article 51 of this Chapter, and the board of commissioners of that county is considered the board of trustees of the authority under Article 51, except that the maximum tax that may be levied by a county under this Article is seven dollars ($7.00) per year.

(b) A county may not levy a tax under this Article unless the county or at least one unit of local government in the county operates a public transportation system.

(c) Any tax levied under this Article shall, after the receipt of those funds from the Division of Motor Vehicles, be retained or distributed by the county on a per capita basis as it receives those funds as follows:

(1) Pro rata (i) retained by the county based on the population of the county that is not in an incorporated area, and (ii) distributed to the municipalities within the county based on the population of that municipality that is located within that county. To determine the population of each county and municipality, the county shall use the most recent annual estimate of population certified by the State Budget Officer.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, if a municipality to which funds are to be distributed does not operate a public transportation system, the population of that municipality shall be excluded from the calculations of subdivision (1) of this subsection and no distribution shall be made to that municipality.

(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, if a county for which funds are to be retained does not operate a public transportation system, the population of that county not in an incorporated area shall be excluded from the calculations of subdivision (1) of this subsection, and the county shall not retain any funds.

If a county that does not retain funds or a municipality that does not receive an allocation of funds on account of subdivision (2) or (3) of this subsection begins to operate a public transportation system, that county or municipality shall begin retaining or receiving funds beginning the first day of July that is more than 30 days thereafter.

(d) The proceeds of a tax imposed under this Article may be used by that county or municipality only to operate a public transportation system, including financing, constructing, operating, and maintaining that public transportation system. The term "public transportation system" has the same meaning as defined in G.S. 105-506.1.

(e) As used in this section, operation of a public transportation system includes a contract or interlocal agreement for operation of the public transportation system by another county or municipality, or by a transportation authority created under (i) a municipal charter; or (ii) Article 25, 26, or 27 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes. As used in this section, operation of a public transportation system also includes a contract with a private entity for operation of the public transportation system.

(f) An interlocal agreement under this section may also deal with allocation of funds between a municipality and county for operation by the county of a human services public transportation system within the municipality when the municipality also operates a public transportation system.

(g) This Article is supplemental to Article 51 of this Chapter.

(h) Any tax or tax increase levied under this Article applicable to a motor vehicle sold or leased by a motor vehicle dealer, as defined in G.S. 20-286(11), is only applicable to a motor vehicle sale or lease made on or after the effective date of the tax or tax increase regardless of the date of submission of a title and registration application for the motor vehicle to the Division of Motor Vehicles. No tax or tax increase levied under this Article applies to a motor vehicle sale or lease made prior to the effective date of the tax or tax increase. (2009-527, s. 4; 2018-42, s. 7.)