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South Raleigh News

Friday, April 3, 2020

Vehicle registrations in North Carolina lag behind population growth


By Hans Oss | Feb 28, 2020

2013 north carolina license plate   bac 5359
North Carolina license plate |

North Carolina Tax Administrators express concern as vehicle registration rates fail to keep up with population growth.

Vehicle registrations accounted for over $84 million in tax revenue for Wake County last year, approximately 7.5 percent of the county's tax base. As populations continue to rise however, new vehicle registrations are failing to keep pace.

Wake County vehicle registrations per capita have dropped from 0.83 vehicles per person in 2005 to 0.74 vehicles per person in 2017. This trend suggests a significant loss in tax revenue for the county due to unregistered vehicles. Funds from vehicle registrations are used to support valuable public services such as public schools, libraries, parks and law enforcement.

Wake County has hired SAS to look more closely at vehicle registration data to better understand the issue, according to Tax Administrator Marcus Kinrade. North Carolina issued 107,725 registration violations in 2019, but violations can fall into a number of different categories.

"The question is 'Are people on expired tags? Do they have out of state tags or are they consolidating their vehicle fleet?'" Kinrade said.

Kinrade hopes SAS will be able to help the county to identify why vehicle registration rates are lagging, and how the the problem can be addressed.

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