Do You Know About These North Carolina Property Tax Breaks?

(Source: NOLO.com)

Elderly, disabled, and other persons may qualify for various exemptions from North Carolina property tax. North Carolina allows for reduced property taxes if you meet certain requirements.

Homestead exclusion for elderly or disabled. If you’re 65 years old or older, or you’re permanently disabled, you are eligible for a partial exemption. It’s $20,000 or 50% of your home’s appraised value. You qualify only if your income is below a certain level. The level is adjusted yearly for inflation.

Circuit breaker deferral for elderly or disabled. Some North Carolina homeowners are eligible for a property tax deferment program. It places a ceiling on how much tax the owners must pay. The tax amount above the ceiling is deferred until a disqualifying event occurs—typically when the home changes hands. To get this tax break, you must be 65 years old or older, or be permanently and totally disabled. In addition, you must have lived in the home for at least five years, and have income below a designated level.

Homestead exclusion for disabled veterans. A $45,000 exemption is available to a disabled veteran, or his or her surviving spouse. The veteran must first be certified as being totally and permanently disabled because of military service. If you take this exemption, you can’t receive any other property tax break.

Although North Carolina laws set statewide property tax rules, your local government handles the administration and levying of the tax. You’ll want to contact the county tax assessor for complete details on property tax exemptions. Be sure to ask about any forms you need to complete, and the deadline for filing those forms. The Buncombe County Tax Collector’s Office is at 94 Coxe Avenue, 250-4920.

In addition to the property tax which is based on the assessed value of your home, your tax bill may include special assessments. Typically, these assessments are made to pay for improvements such as street paving or repaving in your neighborhood. Depending on the complexity of your situation, you may want to seek legal help to reduce your North Carolina property tax. Attorney Richard J. Maita, at 35A Montford Avenue, is available to answer questions. rich@maitalaw.com or 236-1888. If you have neighbors you think will quality for one of these tax breaks, please be sure they see this story!

The Council on Aging, 277-8288, can help folks with this process as well.