Letter: Gardner helped fix Rowan County’s tax mistake

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 21, 2020

The news of Mrs. Charlotte Gardner passing I am sure has saddened a lot of Rowan Countians. Back many years ago I had the pleasure to call on her and her expertise.

Many can remember the North Carolina state law changed as to assessing vehicle and property taxes. We used to pay for both at one big moment. The new law separated the payments. You sell a vehicle and shortly you get a bill.

One year in January, we paid both vehicle and property tax at the same time for a year’s term. In April, we traded both vehicles and purchased two new vehicles. To our surprise, we get a bill for the old vehicles.

So, I traveled to the tax offices and showed them their mistake. After at least six trips, both the tax supervisor and tax assessor informed me for the last time I was wrong and to hire an attorney. Well, there you go. I simply walked across the street to my attorney and ran it past him. He informed me to contact my legislators.

Well, knowing me, I did and drafted a three-page letter and sent a copy to the following: all Rowan County legislators, all Spencer board members and each Rowan County commissioner.

I got a personal call from none other than Mrs. Charlotte Gardner. She forwarded my letter to the School of Government for research. A couple days later, I got a call from the man who wrote the bill. We talked for an hour.

Guess what? He said Rowan County was doing it wrong.

I drove to the tax offices as soon as I got off the phone and low and, behold, they were on the phone with the School of Government. Just a couple of days later, the supervisor at the tax office placed an article in the Salisbury Post explaining they had made a big boo-boo. End of story. Thank you, Mrs. Charlotte Gardner.

— Danny Patterson