What is Considered Real Estate Property in Wake County?

Wake County real estate property includes:
  • land
  • buildings
  • structures
  • improvements
  • permanent fixtures
  • mobile homes that are placed upon a permanent enclosed foundation on land owned by the owner of the mobile home
Property owners are required to report any new buildings, additions, improvements and/or deletions that occurred during the preceding calendar year where a building permit was not issued. A Personal Property Listing form can be used to report any changes, such as:
  • new buildings
  • additions
  • improvements and/or deletions that occurred during the preceding calendar year where a building permit was not issued.
(Maintenance is not considered an improvement and does not require listing.)

Annual Tax Bills

  • Calculated for the fiscal taxing period of July 1 through June 30
  • Mailed to property owners in July of each year unless paid through an escrow account by your mortgage company in the prior year
  • Interest charge of 2% assessed for the month of January and an additional 3/4 of 1% each month thereafter if property taxes not paid in full by January 5 following billing are assessed an

Statements may be printed using Wake County’s Online Tax Bill Search.

Real Estate Sold During the Year
If you sold your real estate between January and June and do not have a remaining interest in any portion of the property, you should not receive the annual tax notice mailed in July. This notice should be mailed to the current owners, and they are responsible for ensuring timely payment.

For real estate sold after the annual July billing and before the bill becomes delinquent in January, a statement for the unpaid tax will be mailed to the new owner. If the seller does not have a remaining interest in any portion of the property, they may disregard the original notice as the new owner is responsible for payment.

Reappraisal

  • Required to be conducted at least once every eight years
  • Wake County performs reappraisals on a four-year cycle
  • Most recent reappraisal was effective as of January 1, 2016

By law, real estate is appraised at “fair market value,” which is the most probable price a property would bring in a competitive and open market. Property values for a reappraisal are determined by comparing:

  • what similar properties are selling for
  • what it would cost to replace your property
  • the potential income or highest and best use of your property
  • many other factors that may affect value
The amount of taxes you pay depends on both your property’s value and the tax rate set each year by elected county and city/town officials. Reappraisals help ensure that all properties are valued and taxed equitably. The process provides a basis for determining an owner’s share of services funded by property taxes including:
  • education
  • law enforcement
  • emergency medical services
  • health and human services
  • environmental services
  • community services

How is an appraisal done?

Wake County’s appraisal team divides the county into approximately 4,400 neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are groupings of properties that have many of the same characteristics and react to the market in similar ways. The most typical example would be a subdivision with homes of similar age, style and quality of construction, which have lots selling for comparable prices.

They then analyze all sales in the county to establish what the land value should be in each neighborhood. The land values are then subtracted from recent package sales (house and lot) to determine the value of the buildings. That helps them establish the Schedule of Values (SOV). The SOV contains the rates to be applied to land and buildings to estimate the market value of all properties in the county. The Wake County Board of Commissioners must approve the Schedule of Values created by the Department of Tax Administration before it becomes effective.

Appealing Tax Values

Wake County real estate values reflect the market value as of the most recent countywide reappraisal. Any inflation, deflation or other economic changes occurring after the appraisal date will not affect the county’s value of the property and cannot be lawfully considered when reviewing the value for adjustment. The appraised values remain in effect until the next countywide reappraisal, which is currently performed every four years. Learn more about the reappraisal process and effective dates.

Property owners can appeal county appraised real estate values beginning January 1 each year. The deadline for appealing a value is the day the Board of Equalization and Review adjourns, which is usually the first part of April. The only appeal request that can be accepted after the Board adjourns is from a property owner whose county appraised real estate value was changed and notification of the change was not issued until after the Board adjournment date. The appeal deadline for this status is December 31.

The first step in appealing your value is to determine if you are eligible for an informal review. (If you are not eligible, follow the next step below to formally appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review.) Eligibility for an informal review requires that the county’s appraised value of your property has changed since the prior year billing and you are receiving first notice of the new value. If you are a new owner, eligibility for a review would still require that the county’s appraised value has changed since the previous year’s billed value.

To begin the informal review process, call Wake County’s Tax Administration office at 919-856-5400 or send your request in writing to:
Wake County Tax Administration
Attention: Real Estate Appeal
PO Box 2331
Raleigh NC 27602
A county real estate appraiser will review the property and any supporting information provided to determine if a change in value is justified. You will be notified of the results and have the option of accepting the appraiser’s recommendation or appealing further.
Property owners who are not eligible for an informal review, or those not satisfied with the results of their informal review, may formally appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review (BOE). This is a special board appointed by the County Commissioners and consists of Wake County residents with knowledge of local real estate values. Please note that changes in market or economic conditions occurring after the effective date of the last reappraisal cannot be lawfully considered when reviewing the appraised value for adjustment.
Appeals must be received prior to the adjournment of the BOE, which is usually the first part of April.
To file an appeal online or to print an appeal form to complete and return by mail, visit the
Tax Portal page and select the option for Create Board of Equalization Appeal. An access code is required to create, print or review an appeal. To obtain an access code, call the Wake County Tax Administration office at 919-856-5400 or email your request to taxhelp@wakegov.com. Requests should include the tax account number, owner name(s), and property location.
Notification of your scheduled hearing date and time to appear before the BOE will be sent via regular mail.
Information to assist you in deciding whether to file an appeal is available on the
Tax Portal page. The site offers a publication of frequently asked questions related to the appeals process as well as the ability to research sales, values and physical characteristics of both your property and comparable properties.
Following a hearing with the BOE, property owners may appeal to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission should they remain in disagreement with the value of the real estate. The Commission is composed of five members; three appointed by the Governor and one each by the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House. Applications for hearings must be filed with the North Carolina Property Tax Commission within thirty (30) days after the Board of Equalization and Review has mailed notice of its decision. Appeals from Commission decisions are to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and are based on hearing records.
Wake County taxpayers can search and view property details, research comparable sales, and submit appeals online using the Quick Link buttons below:

View the Property Tax Record for Your Home

Use this option to review a summary of your property record. It is recommended that you review the record for errors. Check to be sure your heated area, bathroom count, and other details are accurate.

Property Search

Research Appraised Values or Sale Prices

Use this option to review appraised values, property records, and sale prices of residential and commercial property.

Research Sales

Appeal Your Appraised Value

All property owners have the right to appeal the appraised value of their property. If you believe the value does not reflect fair market value and have information to support your position, or you can document damage or factors that may influence the value, you may want to consider an appeal. An appeal would not be effective if you think your value is accurate but the taxes are too high. The appeals process pertains only to the appraised value.

Request Informal Review

If you’d like more information about the Wake County tax reappraisal, check out this list of answers to frequently asked questions.  If you have any further questions, contact local Triangle area realtor Odalis Sanchez at (919) 349-9571.