GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Property taxes were due in September, four months ago. The grace period just ended last week. Area tax collectors say about 90 percent of us have paid our bills. But in that 10 percent of unpaid taxes are some of your elected officials. An exclusive 2 Wants To Know review of the area's largest cities and counties found six elected officials owed a total of almost $20,000.
The biggest bill was from Joe Pinnix Jr., Kernersville's Mayor Pro Tem. He missed a payment of $7,185. We reached him recovering from an unexpected surgery which he blamed for missing the deadline. He paid his bill after we spoke.
Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis also paid up after 2 Wants To Know called.
"Most of our elected officials are just very busy people," Davis said.
When 2 Wants To Know pressed further, Davis said his $5,400 bill slipped through the cracks.
"Good citizens make mistakes," he said.
Asheboro Council Member Walker Moffitt's had a past due bill of almost three thousand dollars. Moffitt says his wife had jury duty and then the flu. His wife realized the mistake on her own, and was already at the tax office getting these receipts when we called.
"It was a very unfortunate circumstance and oversight on our part. And it was important to correct it as soon as possible," Moffitt said.
Greensboro City Councilwoman Yvonne Johnson also paid $313 after we called. She says she thought she paid it, but was wrong.
In January those unpaid bills officially became delinquent. And sure, all the elected officials may have had good reasons for not paying by the deadline. But taxes were actually due in September. Alamance County Tax Collector Jeremy Akins says at this point, there's really no excuse.
"If you make the lines soft, well maybe if there's a good excuse, there's a good story, it gets very chaotic. It's hard to enforce because there's always a good story. And so the state tells us no options, here's your day," he said.
There are two elected officials who haven't called us back yet:
Winston-Salem City Councilman Derwin Montgomery - with an outstanding $604.
And Winston-Salem Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke - who owed$3,718. But public records posted online late Wednesday show Burke also paid after 2 Wants To Know called.
There could be even more out there. 2 Wants To Know was only able to check the larger cities and counties in the area: