Saturday, April 19, 2014   

Real Property Tax

Real Property Tax

Real property is land and buildings. State law requires that real property be reassessed or revalued at least once every 8 years. Counties may adopt shorter intervals and Brunswick County now revalues every 4 years. This assessment is made by the county Tax Administration office. In Brunswick County, the current cycle is 2011, 2015 and 2019.

Tax Administration has the following responsibilities:

  • Determine extent of taxability.
  • Estimate "fair market value".
  • Notify property owners about changes in property values.
  • Inform the general public about real property tax issues.
  • Conduct Revaluations.
  • Billing.
  • Collections is a sub-set of Tax Administration; See Revenue Department.

Please notify us immediately to report an error or if you own land or buildings not reflected on your bill.

Real Property Listing

Brunswick County has automatic listings for real property. Currently, listings are updated within 30 days of recording of the deed or instrument at the Brunswick County Register of Deeds for straight transfers.

UPDATING TAX LISTINGS
FOR REAL ESTATE INVOLVED IN ESTATE FILINGS

The update of the tax listing of property subject to probate and estate filings is not automatically duplicated in the Brunswick County Tax Administration Office by state law.

If you would like to update tax listing information for future billings and notices by probate or estate matters, it is suggested that you make the Tax Office aware of the changes. Please forward copies of estate documents, to the Brunswick County Tax Office, Real Estate Department.

The best information to update tax listings of real estate in the County Tax Office should include the following:

  • Copy of Death Certificate(s)
  • Copy of probated Will (if applicable) with estate file numbers designated and should also have either:
    • Copy of Certificate of Probate or
    • Certificate of True Copy
  • If no will is available, a listing of the heirs as documented in the Estate file would be acceptable
  • Current Billing Address

The Tax Department does not need certified copies of the items noted above as a photocopy is sufficient for Tax Office purposes.

You may provide the documentation in person to the Brunswick County Tax Administration Office located in the David R. Sandifer Building, Brunswick County Government Complex, by mail to P. O. Box 269 Bolivia, NC 28422, or by facsimile to (910) 253-2861.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Real Estate Division of the Brunswick County Tax Office at (910) 253-2829 or (800) 527-9001.

Assessment Process

Property value assessment (also referred to as "valuation") is necessary to establish a tax base for the county and to determine an equitable distribution of the tax burden. Under the Tax Administration office, the Assistant Assessor utilizes staff appraisers to determine property values. The appraisers do not dictate real property value. They merely interpret the real estate marketplace by studying real estate sales transactions and similar properties sold, which yields the "fair market value" of the property. Fair market value is the money that a property would bring on the open market.

Determining Fair Market Value

  • Market approach: Compare subject property to recent property sold.
  • Cost approach: Estimate the current cost of replacement.
  • Income approach: Consider the potential rental income from property.

Brunswick County conducts revalutation of real property every 4 years. Valuation assessment notices are mailed to real property owners when the revaluation is complete. Valuation assessment notices also are mailed approximately twice a year for change of ownership, new construction, use value, and a variety of other changes that might have occurred with the property.

Reduction / Exemption

Exemption
Property may be considered exempt from taxes if it has the following use:

  • Educational purposes
  • Charitable purposes
  • Religious purposes

Reduction: "Use Value"
Property may be considered for reduced taxes (by "use value") if it has the following use:

  • Farming purposes
  • Forestry purposes

See information about Land Use exclusion below.

Reduction: Elderly or Disabled
Property may be considered for reduced taxes* if it is owned by a person who is either:

  • Age 65 years or older or
  • Totally and permantly disabled
  • AND: Income less than the threshold, currently $28,100 for 2013.
  • AND: North Carolina Resident

June 1st of the current tax year is the deadline to apply for such a partial exemption from property taxes.

* $25,000 or 50% of the assessed value, whichever value is greater, is excluded from taxation.

Reduction: Environmental Program
Property may be considered for reduced taxes if it is owned by a company taking measures to reduce the following environmental problems:

  • Air pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Solid waste

(Participant must file an AV-12 application each year, in order to receive this reduction.)

NOTES:

Properties are eligible for the "exempt" or "use value" until they are sold or no longer qualify for the status. After that time, the owner will be billed the deferred tax amount for the current year, as well as the 3 years prior.

Property designated for "exempt" or "use value" status will be reviewed every 4 years to determine whether or not it still meets the requirements.

Land Use

The Land Use exclusion is designed for those property owners who grow agricultural, horticultural, or forestry products on their land. A county may appraise agricultural, horticultural, and forest land based on their ability to grow crops rather than their market value, provided that the owner qualifies under certain criteria. These criteria include the following:

  1. ownership
  2. income
  3. size of the tract in actual production
  4. whether the farm is under sound management

The application for this exclusion must be made with the county assessor's office during the regular listing period.

North Carolina Department of Revenue Forms

Determining Your Tax

The Board of County Commissioners sets the tax rate. Your real property tax is based on the value of your property as of January 1, 2011. To determine the tax you owe, multiply the year's tax rate by each $100 of assessed value, using the values on the tax rate page link below.

Tax Rates

Appealing Tax Assessment

If you are not satisfied with an assessment of your property, you have 4 courses of action:

  1. Call the Tax Administration office and speak with the appraiser who assessed your neighborhood.
  2. File an appeal with the Board Of Equalization And Review. (The Board begins its deliberations in April.)
  3. Appeal to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission, if not satisfied with the Board Of Equalization And Review's decision.
  4. Appeal to the North Carolina Circuit Court Of Appeals, if not satisfied with the Property Tax Commssion's decision.

The Board Of Equalization And Review is appointed by the Board Of County Commissioners.  Appellants will be notified by letter at least 10 days prior to their meeting date.

Payment

The owner of the property, as of January 1st of the current year, is responsible for taxes for the entire year. The tax office does not prorate real property taxes.

  • Due in September and must be paid by January 5th. Mailed payments must be hand postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before January 5th in order to avoid interest charges.
  • Interest charged at 2.0% for the month of January and 0.75% for every month thereafter until paid in full.
  • Delinquent taxpayers (and tax amount) will be advertised in a local newspaper, after 5 January.
  • A $25 fee or 10% of the face value of the check, whichever is higher, will be assessed for all returned checks.
  • Mail tax payment card and check or money order (no cash!) to:
    Brunswick County Revenue
    P.O. Box 580335
    Charlotte, NC 28231

Retain your portion of tax statement for your records.