North Carolina Property Taxes
Overview of North Carolina Property Taxes
Property Taxes in North Carolina are entirely determined and collected by the counties. Every homeowner in the state is liable to pay North Carolina property taxes in the respective county where their property is located. The taxes are administered by the Property Tax Division of the North Carolina Department of Revenue. Property taxes primarily fund local government services like public education, fire departments, and law enforcement.
Compared to what homeowners in other states pay, North Carolina property tax rates are relatively low. The state and its local governments collect $85 billion in total revenue every year, with $10 billion or 11.7% of total revenue coming from property taxes. A state in which property taxes make up a smaller percentage of the total revenue collected is generally indicative of low property tax rates.
On average, homes in North Carolina are worth $195,670. The average homeowner pays 0.85% of their home value in North Carolina property taxes or $8.49 for every $1,000 in home value. However, there is no state property tax rate since local taxing authorities decide the rates depending on the budget they require for that fiscal year. The jurisdictions include cities/municipalities, counties, and special districts.
North Carolina homeowners are assessed by their respective County Assessors to determine the value of their homes, which is based on North Carolina property taxes. Assessments in North Carolina are conducted at least once in four years. However, this means you have to ensure your home is properly assessed or end up overpaying your property taxes for that period. The state allows you to appeal property taxes to the local Board of Equalization if your home has been wrongly valued. However, the appeal only applies to the assessed value, and homeowners cannot appeal the North Carolina property tax rates.
If you are planning to buy a home in North Carolina and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our North Carolina Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
North Carolina Property Tax Due Dates
The fiscal year in North Carolina runs from July 1st, with property tax rates established in the middle of the year. If you own a home in the state as of January 1st, you receive your North Carolina property tax bill in August. But when are property taxes due in North Carolina? The taxes are typically payable as of September 1st. However, you can still pay the tax before January 5th of the subsequent year without incurring any interest/penalties. The state of North Carolina allows taxing authorities to schedule discounts for homeowners who pay their property taxes before the due dates.
Taxes paid after the North Carolina property tax due dates are subject to interest charges. The interests are calculated at a rate of two percent (2%) from January 6th to February 1st. Beginning February 1st until the day the due taxes and accrued interests are paid, interest is calculated at three-fourths of one percent (0.0075%) per month. Homeowners receive their delinquent notices in February and March. Failure to receive a tax bill doesn't relieve you of your responsibility to pay North Carolina property taxes.
If you don't receive your tax bill or believe you received the wrong bill, then you are required to consult your local County Tax Administration office. The state laws allow the local governments to initiate a tax sale if your North Carolina property taxes become delinquent. The tax collector can use the "in-rem" foreclosure option, which practically creates a case against your home for the taxes and accrued interest owed. If they remain unpaid for two years, the tax collector can petition the court to execute a tax sale where your house is auctioned to recover the tax debt.
North Carolina Property Tax Exemptions
Besides the option to appeal your property taxes if wrongly assessed, the state of North Carolina offers several tax exemptions to ease the tax burden on qualified homeowners. The most common are homestead and senior exemptions. The exemptions exclude a portion of your home's assessed value from property taxes. However, you are still subject to the North Carolina property tax due dates even if you are eligible for these exemptions.
North Carolina Homestead Exemption
North Carolina's homestead exemption protects your home equity against creditors in case of bankruptcy. The exemption excludes up to $35,000 of your home value against North Carolina property taxes. To be eligible, you must have lived in North Carolina for over two years and used the home as your primary residence. The exemption protects you against losing your house. Consult your local Assessor's Office for eligibility questions.
North Carolina Senior Citizens Exemption
The senior exemption provides a partial exemption worth at least $20,000 to eligible seniors. You must be at least 65 years and meet certain income limit requirements to qualify for this exemption. The state also has a property tax deferment program that limits what eligible homeowners can pay in North Carolina property taxes. You must be at least 65 years old and have lived in the home in question for at least five years.
Other North Carolina property tax exemptions include the disabled veteran's exemption, which provides a $45,000 exemption to a disabled veteran or their unmarried surviving spouse. The veteran's disability has to be 100% related to military service. Additionally, those who take this exemption are not eligible for other property tax breaks provided by the state.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in North Carolina
The state of North Carolina allows you to appeal to your home's appraised value. The first step is to consult your local tax office, where you can solve the dispute without the need for a formal appeal. However, if you disagree with the tax office, you can file your appeal with the local Board of Equalization and Review. The Board sits during the first week of April. Decisions made by the local Board can be further appealed to the State Board of Equalization and Review, commonly known as the Property Tax Commission. A successful appeal can lower your North Carolina property taxes.
An appeal with either Board is formal. Both the appellant and the County are given a specified amount of time to present their case before the Board.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across North Carolina, though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Wake County
To better understand how to appeal your property taxes in North Carolina, the following is a breakdown of the appeal process in Wake County, the most populous county in North Carolina.
Obtain your assessment
Residents of Wake County can obtain their assessment details from their Notice of Appraised Value or the local Department of Taxation.
Determine if you are over-assessed
For your appeal to be successful, you have to prove that the appraiser erred in their valuation. The Department Of Tax Administration website has a search tool that can help you search records of property sales comparable to yours. Alternatively, you can use TaxProper's search tool or a website, such as Zillow.
Complete forms needed to appeal
Residents of Wake County can obtain forms needed to appeal property taxes from the Department of Tax Administration offices.
File property tax appeal
An initial informal appeal can be filed with the Wake County Tax Department. For a formal hearing, you are required to file your appeal with the Wake County Board of Equalization and Review between March and May.
Prepare for hearing
Preparation for a property tax appeal hearing includes collecting evidence supporting your opinion of your home value and disputing the Assessor. This can consist of comparable sales, images of damage to the property, recent appraisal, and income/expense data.
The Wake County Board of Equalization and Review does not require you to attend an appeal hearing in person. The Board will already have your appeal and any supporting documents and will review this information even without your attendance. In any case, a decision is made after the hearing and not during the hearing. You will be notified of the decision in writing.
Appeal the decision
You can appeal the decision by the Wake County Board of Equalization and Review to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission within 30 days of receiving the decision letter from the County Board. There are no application fees required for either level of appeal.
Property Tax Information for North Carolina Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each North Carolina county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific North Carolina county.
|County||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|
|New Hanover County||$273,597||$1,992||$7.30|