Soon, many cities in Gaston County will have to pick up the tab for a new expense.
Until now, the county has paid to collect taxes for those cities, but recently announced it was going to stop the collections.
Freida Mull has lived in her Gastonia home and paid taxes since 1991. Now, she is on disability and has learned that the county will no longer pay to process her city taxes.
"I am just barely making it, as it is," Mull said.
She said she pays about $2,400 in property taxes each year.
She added that she does not know how much of that goes to Gastonia because for more than 20 years, the county has collected and processed their taxes and the taxes for municipalities at no charge.
She is worried that next year the city will ask residents to start paying the half-million-dollar bill for tax collection.
"Our taxes are already high enough," Mull said.
Gastonia's assistant city manager said the city is in the preliminary stages of trying to figure out how to pay this new bill without creating a tremendous burden for taxpayers.
Donnie Loftis, the chairman of the county board of commissioners, said the county could no longer afford to pay for tax collection. He said the county has not increased taxes since 2001, despite the increased demand on county services.
"We are stretching those county dollars as far as we can stretch them. This is just a cost recovery," Loftis said.
He said the county will gradually increase the cost for tax collection so that the 14 municipalities are not suddenly hit with huge bills.
The county will start charging City Hall next summer.