If you own a home in the North Carolina Triangle, or are considering buying one, property tax is something that you will have to save for on a yearly basis. Fortunately for residents in this area, North Carolina’s property tax rates are relatively low in comparison to the tax rates in other states, at an average effective property tax rate of 0.86%, while the national average is 1.08%. By effective tax rate, we are referring to the annual property tax paid as a percentage of total home value.
In North Carolina, property tax is “ad valorem”. This means that this type of tax is based on the value of your property. The value of a property is determined by a county assessor and it is a requirement to revalue a property at least once every eight years to determine its current market value. Let’s take a look at the property taxes being imposed in the Research Triangle, specifically in Wake County and Durham County, where the cities of Raleigh and Durham and the town of Chapel Hill are located.
Property Taxes for Raleigh Homeowners
Raleigh is located in Wake County, North Carolina. Good news if you own a home here because the average property tax rates in this county are lower compared to other major North Carolina counties. The average effective property tax rate in Wake County is 0.88% and the median annual property tax payment of Wake County residents is $2,211, based on the median home value of $250,700. Particularly in Raleigh, the average effective property tax rate is 0.96%. Given the median home value of $225,000, Raleigh homeowners pay a median annual property tax payment of $2,156.
Wake County Appraisal Process
The appraised values of properties in Wake County reflect the market values based on the most recent countywide reappraisal, which was effective January 1, 2020 and these will not be affected by inflation, deflation or other economic changes occurring after the appraisal. These appraised values will be in effect until the next countywide reappraisal, which is currently performed every four years.
The fiscal taxing period is from July 1 through June 30, and annual tax bills are typically mailed to property owners in July of each year. Property taxes must be paid in full by January 5 following billing, otherwise, they incur an interest charge of 2% for the month of January and an additional 3/4 of 1% each month thereafter.
Filing an Appeal in Wake County, NC
If you do not agree with the appraised value of your property, you can file an appeal from January 1 each year. The deadline for real estate property appeals is usually the first part of April, when the Board of Equalization and Review adjourns.
The first thing you will need to do is determine if you are eligible for an informal review. This applies when the county’s appraised value of your property has changed since the prior year’s billing and you have just received the first notice of the new value. To begin the informal review process, you may call the Wake County office at 919-856-5400 or mail your written request to the Wake County Tax Administration office.
A county real estate appraiser will review your property to assess if a change in value is justified and you will be notified of the results. Once you have received their response, you may decide to accept the appraiser’s recommendation or appeal further. If you are not eligible for an informal review or if you were not satisfied with the results of your informal review, you may submit a formal appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review (BOE). Deadline for appeals is the first part of April, before the BOE adjourns.
Tax Relief Programs for Wake County Residents
Tax relief programs offered to qualified Wake County residents include elderly or disabled exclusion, the disabled veteran exclusion, and the Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program. With the elderly or disabled exclusion, you must be at least 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled and your total annual income including that of your spouse is below $31,000. With this program, the first $25,000 or 50% of your home’s assessed value, whichever is greater, is excluded from taxation.
Veterans who have been discharged under honorable conditions or their unmarried surviving spouse may qualify for the disabled veteran exclusion. There is no age or income limit for this program. Under this program, the first $45,000 of the appraised value of the homeowner’s property is exempt.
Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program is open to homeowners who are at least 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled. The requirement for eligibility is the total annual income of the homeowner and their spouse must be below $46,500. For unmarried joint property owners, each owner would have to apply and qualify separately. In addition to this, the owners must have owned and occupied the property within the past five years.
Property Taxes in Durham and Chapel Hill, Durham County
The property taxes in Durham County are one of the highest in the state. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 1.21%, which ranks as the second highest property tax rate among North Carolina counties. The average effective property tax paid by Durham County homeowners is $2,362, based on the median home value in this location, which is $195,900. In the city of Durham, the average effective property tax rate is 1.26% and the median annual property tax payment in this location is $2,460 based on the median home value of $195,000.
Property taxes on real estate are billed in the summer each year. Chapel Hill homeowners may pay these taxes either by mail to the Durham Tax Collection Office or in person at the Durham County Tax Office in Durham. Deadline for tax payment is January 5 the following year.
Being aware of the real estate property tax rates in the North Carolina Triangle, specifically in Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, is not just for homeowners but for those who are thinking of buying their house in the area as well. This information is one of your key considerations when buying a home, along with other things, such as proximity to your work office, availability of good schools, and the overall security in the location. If you are in the process of finding your new home in the Research Triangle, let me help you! Give me a call today at 919-452-6484 or email me at [email protected] for any questions or if you want to schedule an appointment.