Local News

Watch your mail, Wake County: Property assessments coming, tax hikes won't be far behind

Posted January 14, 2020 2:07 p.m. EST
Updated January 14, 2020 2:27 p.m. EST

Wake County residents should keep an eye on their mailboxes for a notice from The Wake County Department of Tax Administration, which will provide them with a first look at their property's tax value as a result of the 2020 reappraisal that went into effect Jan. 1.

Around 395,000 notices were sent to residential and commercial real estate property owners.

Tax Administrator Marcus Kinrade said, "Our local market has been extremely active since 2016, and we have ample sales data to substantiate values calculated during this reappraisal process."

Homeowners will soon learn how the county valued their house for tax purposes, but they won't know the full cost until the spring.

Kinrade said, "It's important to note that the reappraisal only focuses on updating assessed values for 2020, not the amount of property tax that will be due. That cannot be precisely calculated until the county's Fiscal Year 2021 budget is adopted in June."

In the meantime, the county's Revenue-Neutral Tax Calculator can provide property owners with an estimate of how the reappraisal might impact their upcoming tax obligation, including property-specific taxes.

"Revenue-neutral is often a misunderstood term. It applies to county and municipal budgets as a whole, not to individual properties," said Kinrade.

The revenue neutral rate represents the tax rate estimated to generate the same amount of total property tax revenue if the revaluation did not occur.

On average, residential property owners might see a 20% increase countywide since the last reappraisal in 2016. This increase in residential value, according to officials, was caused by a high demand and low supply of homes, particularly those valued at less than $250,000.

Officials also said that commercial property values realized a 33% increase on average, driven mostly by considerable increases in hotel, apartment and industrial properties.

Counties in North Carolina are only required to conduct a reappraisal once every eight years. In 2016, the Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to shorten Wake County's reappraisal cycle to four years to re-establish property tax equity between properties more frequently.

Property owners who do not believe the value shown on their notice accurately reflects fair market value can submit a request for an informal review.

Property owners may also submit review requests using the form included with the Notice of Value and mailing it to:

Wake County Tax Administration

Attention: Informal Review

P.O. Box 2331

Raleigh, NC 27602

The county said they will accept requests for informal reviews until March 1. Starting March 2, the Wake County Board of Equalization and Review said will accept formal appeals until it adjourns on May 28, which is the last day to file an appeal of the 2020 valuation.

For questions regarding the reappraisal process, contact the Wake County Tax Administration Office by phone at 919-857-3800 or by email at reappraisal@wakegov.com.

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