Pondering and All That

Wake County Property Taxes, Assessed Value and Market Value are not equal!

Wake County, North Carolina Property Taxes can be confusing to Buyers and Sellers.  You can access photos, notes on building permits, tax bills, deed history, subdivision or area sales, structure information, and a map of the property, including zoning, environmental features, and aerial photography on line at Wake County North Carolina Property Tax information.

One confusing detail for many Buyers from out of state is the lack of correlation between “Tax Value,” and the Listing Price of a property for sale.  Basically, it is safe to say there is no link between the two in Wake County, and much of North Carolina.

In many states “Tax Value” is adjusted to reflect recent sales activity, and correlates closely to property value.  Wake County Tax Values are re-assessed at eight year intervals.  There is an optional “adjustment” at the 4 year mark of that cycle.  It is not aggressively used to bring Tax Values “into line” with market conditions.

The next Wake County re-assessment is scheduled for 2008, and Tax Values will likely change dramatically to the upside. 

Separate from the Tax Value is the “Property Tax Rate.”   This is the percentage taken against the Tax Value to determine the property tax due. 

In Wake County municipalities, the rate is in the 1% vicinity, i.e., on a home with a $275,000 Tax Value, the owner may pay just over 1%, or $2750+/-, property tax, including local municipality and county taxes.

The Market Value of that home may be $255,000 or $500,000, or whatever, depending on whether it existed prior to the last re-assessment.  Typical Assessed Values fall into a range of 60% to 90% of Market Value.  In some neighborhoods without much appreciation, Assessed Valued can be higher than current Market Value.

Currently, the Wake County Property Tax Rate for a home is .64%, which includes School taxes and a recycling fee, and the Town of Cary is .32% on my home, yielding a total property tax rate of .96%.  If living in an unincorporated area of Wake County, the Property owner will typically pay only the .64% County tax, with no municipality taxes.

So, don’t be surprised when Tax Value and Listing Price don’t correlate.

And when you see  “FOR SALE BELOW TAX VALUE!,”  be aware that is not an immediate indication of great value.  Either the Seller doesn’t understand the local system, or is trying to attract Buyers who don’t understand.


1 thought on “Wake County Property Taxes, Assessed Value and Market Value are not equal!

  1. Just updated to fix links to Wake County, which broke when Wake County updated their web site.
    While some of the numbers have changed, and the next reassessment will be in 2016, the basics of the system are still accurate in 2013 as they were when this was posted in 2007.

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