PROPERTY TAXES IN BEAUFORT COUNTY
AND WASHINGTON, NC
ALL PROPERTY TAX SYSTEMS ARE NOT THE SAME!
As a REALTOR® in Washington, NC, I am often asked to explain the nuances of property taxes in Beaufort County and Washington, NC. As clients from other areas of the country explain their current property tax procedures, it is interesting to see just how diverse these systems can be. These clients are often surprised to learn that in the Beaufort County area, tax value is NOT directly related market value. While it has not been verified, many report that the purchase price of a new home in their area can result in an increase in the tax value if the purchase price is in excess of the current tax value. For all these reasons, I am offering the following tax information for our area.
PROPERTY TAX RATES FOR BEAUFORT COUNTY IN NORTH CAROLINA
In most areas of the country, the list of services available from a municipality is more extensive in an urban area than a rural area. The same is true here in Beaufort County in North Carolina. The tax rates are calculated on a “per $100 of tax valuation” basis. Tax valuations are readily available online but I have found the tax offices (assessor and collector) to be very helpful. The tax value of a given property can be divided by the $100 factor and multiplied by the tax rate to get a very close estimate of the taxes due for a given year. The current year tax rate for Beaufort County is $.53/$100 of tax valuation of a given property. The tax rates for other municipalities in Beaufort County are as follows:
Bath: $ .71/$100
Belhaven: $ .98/$100
Washington Park: $ .82/$100
Keep in mind that these are the current rates for 2013 and they can change. Based on about 35 years in the area, they do not typically swing wildly, but factors affecting the obligations of the various municipalities can cause these rates to need adjustment.
HOW ARE THE TAX VALUATIONS ARRIVED AT?
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Beaufort County tax valuations are not tied directly to market values. Our county tax assessor is mandated to hold a property revaluation every 8 years. During this process, every property in the county is reevaluated by a team of assessors to reach a new tax valuation. This process was last performed in 2010 and is anticipated again in 2018. Each year in between these system-wide revaluations, the tax valuation for each property can change based on improvements or other factors that might affect a given property’s value.
CAN PROPERTY OWNERS ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THEIR VALUATIONS?
The short answer is yes. Every year notices are given, typically in March, for the upcoming review meetings in April. Those wishing to have their property valuations reviewed should collect and provide very data specific documentation to substantiate their concerns regarding their opinions relating to their tax valuation.
ARE THERE ANY TAXES IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE?
Again, the short answer is yes, but the good news is they are very, very modest! A small tax is added to each tax bill to help fund the local fire and rescue services. The rates for these bills range from $.013 per $100 of valuation to $.039 per $100 of valuation. To put this in perspective, one would pay between $13 and $40 on a $100,000 home, depending on location. This is money well spent when one either sees smoke or has chest pains!
ARE THERE ANY TAX ADVANTAGES FOR SENIORS, VETERANS, THE HANDICAPED, ETC.?
Again, the short answer is yes.
Veterans who are 100% handicapped are potentially eligible for a pre-determined credit on the tax valuation of real property. They must apply with the county in or before June and part of the application process must also be completed with the local VA.
Additionally, senior citizens (65 and older) with a TOTAL current income of less than $28,100 (may increase to $28,500 in 2014) may also qualify for a pre-determined credit on their tax valuation.
WHAT ABOUT PERSONAL PROPERTY, SUCH AS BOATS, CAMPERS, ETC.?
These type items are handled in a little different manner than real property. The tax assessors office wants everyone to know that this type of property must be listed in January and it must be done EVERY YEAR.
I SOLD MY HOME IN JUNE. WHY AM I RECEIVING A TAX BILL?
In Beaufort County, all tax bills are sent to the person who owned the home on January 1st of the given tax year. You are likely aware of this, but if the sale of your home was closed in June AND if it was closed by an attorney, there is a good chance that your portion of the taxes were pro-rated and “collected” from you on the closing statement. Given this scenario, this amount likely was then credited to the buyer on the same statement (HUD1 Form). If this was the case, the HUD1 form from your closing should indicate this on the first page. If this is the case, the buyer will need to get a copy of the bill, so s/he can make sure it is paid from the appropriate source (personal funds or escrow).
We hope this helps explain the property taxes in our area, a little. Feel free to call if you need any assistance with real estate in our area!
FOR MORE BEAUFORT COUNTY TAX INFORMATION
Please contact the Beaufort County Tax Assessors Office at (252) 946-7981 for answers to any other questions you might have. They will be happy to answer your questions about Property Taxes in Beaufort County and Washington, NC.