Wake County property values are increasing – here’s what you need to know

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Property values in Wake County are going up, and the county wants to capitalize on it. It is sending out notices to inform property owners of the new assessed value of buildings and land.

Many are seeing huge jumps in their appraisals and wonder how that will affect their taxes.

Wake County is booming. With a very strong housing market, there are lots of jobs available and market values are increasing. Aerial photography, examinations of building permits, and on-site visits to subdivisions figure into how much property value is raised.

Back in 2016, a county tax map showed the highest property values were in the southwestern parts of the county. Now, four years later, that’s shifted to the eastern part of the county.

“The housing stock is most affordable, under $250,000,” said Wake County tax administrator Marcus Kinrade. “That’s where the highest demand is and the lowest supply is, so that’s driving up values.”

But, even in a booming economy, not all property values are created equal. Wake County said apartments saw values increase by 45 percent, but the value of retail stores only increased by 16 percent.

So, the county uses reappraisals to even out the tax base. Just because a reassessment may show a property’s value increased by 25 percent doesn’t mean taxes go up by 25 percent.

“The government can’t reap a windfall because of reappraisal,” Kinrade said.

To avoid that, the county and local municipalities are mandated to prepare what’s called a “revenue neutral budget,” which will be made public in the spring before the start of the new fiscal year. But, before that happens, Wake County’s online calculator can give an idea of what will happen to taxes under reappraisal.

The calculator will show the 2016 and 2020 market values. It also shows what is being paid and what might be paid. In some cases, taxes may go down due to reappraisal.

“If their value increased less than 20 percent, they should pay less,” said Kinrade. “If their value increased more than 20 percent, they’ll probably pay more. If your value remains at 20 percent, you’ll probably not see a tax increase.”

Relief programs are available for anyone worried about not being able to pay increased taxes. Reappraisals can be challenged online or by filling out the form that came with the reassessment. The form must be returned by May 28.

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