Understanding Property Revaluation
North Carolina law requires each county to re-appraise all property values at least once every eight years. Many counties go through this property revaluation every four years. You can find out when your county's next revaluation takes place here.
Every single property owner in North Carolina is impacted by county property revaluations. Yet, many homeowners do not fully understand the process. The NC Homeowners Alliance has created this brief explainer.
Why is property revaluation necessary?
Over time, property values change. Since property taxes are based on property values, it is important to make sure counties have accurate market value for each property. The law requires property revaluation so that the property tax burden is equitable.
What does it mean when the county sends me an updated property value?
The most important thing to remember is that the property appraisal is only the FIRST step in determining your property tax bill. An increase in property value does not necessarily mean that your property tax bill will increase. In high-growth counties, some homeowners will see an increased property value but a decreased property tax bill.
So how is my tax bill determined?
Your tax bill is set once your local elected officials set the new property tax rate. This must be done at both the county level and municipal level.
After the property appraisals and before setting a new property tax rate, local governments are required by law to first make a statement of the neutral tax rate. This rate would keep total property tax collections the same as the previous year. In counties that are experiencing property value growth, the neutral rate would be less than the previous year. In counties with property devaluation, the neutral rate would be higher than the previous year.
Finally, it is up to the elected officials to determine the new property tax rate. This action is generally taken as part of the budgeting process for the next fiscal year. Sometimes local governments will simply adopt the revenue-neutral rate. Local governments might also keep the current tax rate in place or adopt a new rate altogether.
What if I disagree with my property tax revaluation?
Every county has an appeal process if a homeowner thinks the market value has been appraised incorrectly.You will have to show that similar properties are valued less. Visit your county’s website to find out the process for your area, but don't delay, because appeals can only be made for a limited time.