The Iredell County tax assessor’s office is still about a month away from finalizing its study on property taxes according to a recent article in the Mooresville Tribune. Questions about North Carolina’s property tax laws and our Lake Norman area tax rates is one of the most frequently asked by my buyers so here is a brief overview of the system as well as an update on 2011.
- North Carolina law states that all real (real estate) property is subject to ad valorem property taxation meaning a tax is levied on property according to its (market) value.
- While the state of North Carolina regulates the taxation guidelines, the basic unit for the actual administration and collection of tax is the county.
- Cities and towns are also authorized by statute to tax real property
- Real property is reappraised every 8 years
- Counties are authorized to make a “horizontal adjustment” in the 4th year of the 8 year readjustment period. A horizontal adjustment is meant to bring property values in line with current values by the “uniform” application of a percentage of increase or reduction to the appraised values within certain categories or areas.
- A tax assessment is like a “mass appraisal” of an area as opposed to an individual property
Okay, so very simply this means that 2011 is our 4-year horizontal adjustment period and our Lake Norman counties are finalizing this process that will impact our 2011 property tax bills.
“The trend, in general, is flat to down,” according to Iredell County Tax Assessor Steve Ervin in the Mooresville Tribune article. However, he went on to say that while property owners may be expecting a dramatic plunge in values, they will not see this due to his analysis which seems to find more optimism in our Iredell County home values.
Probably the most interesting comment was that Iredell County real estate values are at about 2003 levels.
One final note of caution, in the next month or so we will all be receiving a “Notice of Value”. However, “the actual tax on our properties is a decision of elected officials when they adopt budgets and set tax rates in June of each year” stated Mr. Ervin. So, we won’t know our new tax rate until our new tax bills are mailed in August.
I hope this information is helpful. I tried to quote the exact verbiage for accuracy but it may make it sound more confusing than it actually is.