No car tax bill: That sounds like good problem to have, right? Unfortunately, wrong.
"You do still owe those taxes whether you get a bill or not," Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian said.
A lesson some people in Aiken have learned the hard way: Jim Crowell found out his bill wasn't up to date when his wife was pulled over.
"She didn't know what she'd done, she gets pulled over with the tag expired," Crowell said. "You never look at your own tag, you never look to see if it's expired."
And when he got to the DMV to renew the expired tag, it had caused even bigger problems.
"The tag itself was under suspension for failure to pay taxes and my driver's license was under suspension for failure to pay taxes," Crowell said.
He said he of course knew bill or no bill he need to pay, but with multiple vehicles it can be hard to keep track of those taxes.
"It's not a bill you I pay every month," he said. "It's not, 'Oh my gosh, my electricity is due, mortgage is due,' those are things you rely on monthly, taxes, we know we have to pay them, but I rely on that bill to know when they're due," he added.
And Crowell isn't alone.
"I would talk to friends and they would say, 'You know what, I haven't received a notice either,' and while I was in line a couple people hadn't received it as well."
We wanted find out how this happened: Killian said a lot of missing bills get lost in the mail; that's hardly a surprise given that Aiken County mails out hundreds of thousands of tax bills each year. In Crowell's case:
"It was something that happened with a default in the computer, when they put my address in it defaulted as Edgefield County," he said.
To fix that problem, Crowell ended up driving all over Aiken County.
"Three trips to the tax office, five to the department of motor vehicles, two to the police department," he said.
If you haven't received a bill and want to avoid those trips yourself, the solution is simple: Go out and look at your tag to check the month and year. For example if it has 12 and 13, you need to pay up by the end of this month. The hardest part of that though is, of course, remembering to check.
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