Important Sales Tax Issue for Residents


Make sure you are buying in Chatham and paying correct sales tax!
Save money and increase revenues for county services!

DELIVERY LOCATION MATTERS!  Sales tax should be based on where the goods are delivered. Chatham’s sales tax rate of 6.75% is tied for lowest in North Carolina, so correct county designation is important and can save you money.

Five of the eight border
counties have higher sales tax rates!

Vendors often use the 5-digit zip code to identify the county, but much of Chatham is covered by 5-digit zip codes that cross over from other counties. This means that a vendor's database may process that 5-digit zip code in a way that puts the residence is in another county. For example, a 5-digit zip code may cover parts of Chapel Hill (in Orange County) and part of rural Chatham County.  A store's database often will look only at the5-digit  zip code and not the street address. In that case, the sales tax would be charged at the Orange County rate and Orange County would receive the proceeds. 

Shows areas in Chatham covered by outside zip codes

Which zip codes overlap into Chatham? 

• 27330
• 27349
• 27355
• 27502
• 27514
• 27516
• 27517
• 27519
• 27523
• 27562
• 27713

What purchases can be affected?

• In-store purchases that you take home or have delivered to your home.
• Even stores located in Chatham can charge wrong sales tax by mistake
• Online purchases delivered to your home

Why this matters to you:

• Paying correct sales tax rate may save you money
• 5 of 8 border counties have a higher sales tax rate and two are highest in the state
• Helping Chatham boost sales tax revenues reduces need to boost other taxes and fees.
• Bringing in our fair share of sales tax revenues will support:
• Local schools
• Law enforcement
• Parks and recreation
• Public libraries
• Economic development

Sample Sales Tax Calculation  

   Correct  Incorrect
Price of item purchased   $100.00    $100.00
Sales tax  $   6.75    $   7.50
Total  $106.75    $107.50
Sales tax ÷ price (not total)  $6.75/$100   $7.50/$100
Sales tax rate     6.75%      7.50%

What you can do:

• Shop in Chatham County
• Make sure vendors are charging the correct sales tax rate of 6.75%
• Make sure they are assigning the sales tax to Chatham County 
• Tell the vendor when they are charging the wrong rate

Questions and concerns:

Let us know if a vendor appears to be charging the right sales tax rate. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Chatham County Manager’s Office at 919-542-8258 or email us at