In North Carolina, the County Assessor is responsible for listing, appraising and assessing all real and personal property for tax purposes as prescribed by the General Statutes.
The Valuation Standard:
"Market Value" is the appraisal standard for all property in North Carolina. Since market value is a concept in economic theory and cannot be directly observed, it is best represented by “arms-length” sales. Thus, sales data becomes an integral part of the information used to create the County’s Schedule of Values, Standards and Rules.
This all important Schedule is adopted by the Board of County Commissioners prior to the effective date of the general county-wide reappraisal program and becomes basis for all tax appraisals in the year of the reappraisal and in subsequent non-reappraisal years. When properly applied, the Schedule of Values, Standards and Rules will result in tax values that reflect the market value standard as of the effective reappraisal date and serve to ensure equity in the valuation of all real property.
The Property Tax Base:
All property in the County is taxable, unless it is exempted or excluded by the Constitution or by the action of the General Assembly. The total value of all taxable property is the county’s property tax base. Each year at budget time, an estimate of the tax base becomes an integral part of the budget equation which, in part, determines the annual tax rate.
All taxable property in the tax base may be broadly classified as real property, personal property or public service property. Personal property has two subclasses with varying rules for appraisal and assessment. The first consists of items such as business machinery and equipment, certain manufactured homes, boats, airplanes and untagged and permanently tagged motor vehicles. The second sub-class of personal property is registered motor vehicles.
The Property Tax is the single most important source of revenue for the County government. As such, the main goal of the Tax Office is to "ensure equity for all property owners" by strict compliance with the North Carolina General Statutes. This involves constant work and attention to detail and the tax office is always seeking new and better ways to achieve the goal of a fair and equitable assessment system.