The New Hanover County tax department recently completed its reappraisal of all real property throughout the county this year, and real property owners have started to receive notices with their property tax revaluation.
New Hanover County, which includes the city of Wilmington, reappraises the approximately 110,000 residential and commercial properties in the county every four years — so the property tax values established this year will be used to calculate property taxes through 2025. Property owners who believe the county has assessed their property at higher than its fair market value should prepare to appeal the county’s valuation to maximize tax savings. As we explain in our 2021 Guide to NC Commercial Property Tax Revaluation, property tax assessments can be appealed in any year, but any reduced assessment won on appeal will not be applied retroactively.
The county tax department estimates that this year’s revaluation cycle has seen a dramatic 30% increase ($13.3 billion total) in property values from 2020, according to reporting from Port City Daily.
The property values assessed by the county are presumed to be correct, but a taxpayer can overcome that presumption by producing “competent, material and substantial evidence” that tends to show the county used a method of valuation that reached a value substantially exceeding the fair market value of the property.
If you think the New Hanover County Tax Department assigned a value for your property that substantially exceeds its fair market value, you can informally appeal that valuation by submitting an appeal form (that can be found here) within 30 days of receiving the revaluation notice. The county appraiser responsible for your area will review the information submitted with your appeal, then send you a notice with an informal review decision.
If you miss the 30-day window for an informal appeal, or your informal appeal is denied by the appraiser, you can file a formal appeal with the New Hanover County Board of Equalization and Review (the “BER”). You must file your formal appeal with the BER by May 11, 2021. If you miss this deadline, you’ll have to wait until 2022 to appeal the revaluation. Given the sharp increase in New Hanover County property values this year, commercial property owners should consider whether to pursue an appeal this year.