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Facts & Figures - North Carolina

The Tar Heel State taxes all property (personal and real) locally, through counties and municipalities and not through the state. The three main elements of the property tax system consist of real property, personal property, and motor vehicles. Real property is land ands buildings; personal property is anything that is tangible and not attached to real property; and motor vehicles are assessed based on its renewal registration date.

Real property is listed, assessed, and appraised according to the framework laid out by The Machinery Act (Grand Statute 105, Subchapter II). All counties are required to conduct a reappraisal every eight years, although a growing number of counties are doing so every four years. Each year, at least 11 of the 100 counties conduct a reappraisal.

During an off-year, however, a reappraisal can still be made under the following conditions:

  • A clerical or mathematical error
  • Correction of an appraisal that resulted from a misapplication of the schedules during the last reappraisal

Furthermore, an assessor can change the appraised value of a property to recognize a change in certain factors, excluding:

  • Normal physical depreciation of improvements
  • Economic conditions that have affected the county
  • Minor improvements to the property such as painting, landscaping, terracing, etc.

To find out more about real property taxation, as well as the specifics of how personal property and motor vehicles are taxed, click here. Also, local assessors can be found here.

Under North Carolina’s homestead exemption, the greater of $20,000 or 50% of the appraised value of the real property owned and lived in by the resident is excluded from the assessment if the following conditions are met:

  • Owner is 65 years or age or older, or totally and permanently disabled
  • Owner’s disposable income does not exceed a certain amount ($20,500 for 2006), which is calculated each year according to changes in the cost of living index

North Caroline Department of Revenue



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