Orange County has reassessed the value of all real property and is sending taxpayers revaluation notices informing them of their new property values this month. The property values assessed this year will determine the amount of property taxes each taxpayer owes until the next revaluation in 2025.
If you believe the county appraiser assessed your property at higher than its fair market value, you should consider appealing the county’s valuation to maximize your tax savings. While you can appeal the revaluation in a non-revaluation year, a reduced assessment won on appeal will not be applied retroactively to a previous year’s taxes.
According to county statistics obtained by WRAL, median residential property prices have risen more than 4%, despite a 2.2% drop in sales. Orange County has noted that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, “the data shows that overall, homes are continuing to sell at the same rate and sales price are steady and rising.” Orange County includes Hillsborough and part of Chapel Hill.
If comparable properties in the county were sold for significantly less than the value assigned to your property by the county appraiser, that information can form the basis for an appeal that might lower your property taxes.
A taxpayer in Orange County can file two types of appeals: an informal appeal and a formal appeal. The procedure for filing an informal appeal is explained in the valuation notice mailed to you by the county. The informal appeal consists of a hearing with the county appraiser at which you will have the opportunity to submit evidence, such as comparable sales, that show the assessed value of your real property is higher than its fair market value. You must submit your informal notice of appeal by April 30, 2021.
If your informal appeal is denied, or you miss the April 30th informal appeal deadline, you can also file a formal appeal to the Orange County Board of Equalization and Review (the “BER”). The BER will begin meeting and accepting appeals on May 1, 2021, and will adjourn on June 30, 2021. You must submit your appeal before the BER adjourns on June 30, 2021 in order to have your appeal heard for the 2021 tax year.
For additional information regarding the property tax appeal process, you can read the University of North Carolina School of Government’s publication “A Citizen’s Guide to the Revaluation and Assessment of Property by North Carolina Counties.” For information tailored to commercial property owners, check out attorneys John Cocklereece and Justin Hardy’s 2021 Guide to NC Commercial Property Tax Revaluation. Don’t miss your chance to lock in lower tax payments for your commercial property this year!