Tax FAQs

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        Real Estate

What types of property are taxed?

Real Estate, motor vehicles and personal property are the most common types of taxable property. Real Estate is land and the improvements (buildings) on the land. This includes houses, apartment buildingsand commercial property. Motor vehicles include cars, trailers, trucks and motorcycles. The most common types of personal property that you will need to report are unlicensed cars and mobile homes.

When are property taxes due?

Property taxes are due on September 1st. Interest will be assessed on late payments beginning generally the first week of January.

How often are taxes due?

Property taxes are payable every year.

How are taxes calculated?

Each county and city sets it's own millage or "mill" rate. The mill rate is one thousandth of one dollar or one tenth of one cent, $0.001. This rate is multiplied by the assessed value of the property to determine the taxes owed. For example, take a house that has an assessed value of $200,000 and which is located in Raleigh. To determine it's taxes the mill rate of Wake county, 0.5340, is added to the mill rate of the city of Raleigh, 0.3735, giving a combined rate of 0.9075. This is then multiplied by the assessed value giving a tax bill of $200,000 x 0.9075 = $1,815.00.

I live outside city limits

Living outside city limits can have significant tax consequences since the mill rate which will be applied to all of your taxable property, house, cars and personal property, will only be the county rate and not the city rate.For example, consider two houses in Wake county, both with an assessed value of $200,000, one in Raleigh and another outside the city limits and also outside the limits of any other city in Wake county. Here are the tax consequences: Raleigh Home: $200,000 x 0.9075 = $1,815.00 Wake County Home: $200,000 x 0.5340 = $1,068.00 This is $747.00 less per year and the same lower rate applies to an owners' motor vehicles and other personal property.

What if taxes are not paid?

If taxes are not paid on real estate, the county may auction the deed of the property to satisfy the taxes. Most counties will post auction dates and times and properties to be auctioned.

        Auto Tax

What types of motor vehicles are taxed?

Cars, trucks, trailers and motorcycles are taxed.

What tax rate applies?

Property taxes on motor vehicles are taxed at the rate of the county and city which appears on the DMV registration form.

How are car taxes calculated?

Taxes on all types of motor vehicles are calculated using the same method as real estate, multiply the mill rate by the market value of the car. The mill rate applied to the car value will be the rate of the county and city on the registration renewal form from the Division of Motor Vehicles. If you move be sure to update your address on this form.

When are car taxes due?

As a result of North Carolina's new "Tag and Tax Together" program instituted in 2014, car taxes are due and payable on a combined registration renewal and tax bill the car owner will receive from the Division of Motor Vehicles in the month the registration expires. Your vehicle registration cannot be renewed unless both the registration fee and taxes are paid. Previously car owners received a seperate tax bill about three months after they renewed their registration. This change will allow counties to more effectively collect tax obligations and reduce costs associated with collecting deliquent tax bills. Car owners may pay their combined registration renewal fee and property tax bill online, by mail or in person. The combined bill is due in the month the car owner's registration expires.

Are unlicensed vehicles taxed?

Yes, unlicensed vehicles are taxed at the same rate as licensed vehicles. The owner must report these vehicles as personal property.

        Property Reappraisal

Requesting a Reappraisal

North Carolina counties are required to reappraise real property every eight years but may do so earlier. A property owner may appeal an appraised value during any year of this appraisal cycle. In general the following steps apply:
  • Contact the tax office and request an appraisal reduction without a formal appeal.
  • Appeal to the local Board of Equalization and Review. This is a more formal method and the property owner will have a specific amount of time to present his/her case.
  • If the property owner is not satisified with this review he/she may appeal to the state Property Tax Commission.

What is the Property Tax Commission?

The Property Tax Commission has three members appointed by the Governor and two appointed by the NC General Assembly. It is charged with conducting property valuation appeals that have already been decided by a county-level Board of Equalization and Review.

Is the Commission a Court?

Yes, the Property Tax Commission is a trial court and is required to follow the North Carolina Rules of Evidence. The property owner has the burden of proof.

What evidence is considered?

Some examples of evidence an owner may present are:
  • Sales prices of comparable properties.
  • For income-producing properties, income and expense records for three prior years.
  • Information of the cost to construct a similiar structure.

My property value has declined

You cannot appeal your property value based on changes in economic conditions that have occurred since the last county-wide reappraisal. By statute, the Property Tax Commission cannot change an appraised value based on a national decline in market values.

        "Mill" Rates

What are "Mill" rates"?

The millage or "mill" rate is one thousandth of one dollar or one tenth of one cent, $0.001. This rate is set by each county and city and is used to calculate the taxes owed on property. The mill rate is multiplied by the assessed value of real estate or the market value of cars to determine the taxes owed by the owner.


The North Carolina Tax Planner is designed to make it easy for you to plan for the property taxes you will pay each year.

At Goose Creek Software our goal is to make it simple for you to calculate and compare the total property tax bills you will pay in the state of North Carolina. We hope you’ll discover tax alternatives you didn’t know you had.
  • How much will you pay? Easily total all of your property tax bills.
  • Before you buy a house or a car know what your tax bill will be.
  • See where the high and low tax rate counties and cities are.
  • Taxes are lower for those who live outside city limits. See how much lower.