Have you received a letter from New Hanover County stating your annual property tax value? Do you disagree with the county’s valuation and think you’re paying too much? If so, you can formally challenge their decision, if you have a legal right to have your property’s value reduced. According to their website, you have a legal basis for a reduction in value if you have one of the following reasons:
- A listing of properties with similar design, age, condition and square footage but with lower values;
- Sales of highly similar properties that occurred before January 1, 2017, but the selling price is lower;
- The condition of the property is diminished due to wind, water, fire, etc. damage that is unrepaired (you will need to supply proof as to when the damage occurred, the damage is unrepaired and provide pictures or a report ).
- Synthetic Stucco (EFIS). You will need to supply a Water Intrusion Report and a Cost Estimate to repair from a licensed contractor. Of course, if the EFIS had been replaced before January 1 the problem is cured.
- The burden of proof to show the value is incorrect is the responsibility of the property owner or its approved representative.
Here’s how to appeal your New Hanover County property tax value:
1. To begin the appeal process, complete the appeal form online at www.tax.nhcgov.com/forms or complete the appeal form that is attached to your revaluation notice sent in the mail. If mailing in the form, please mail it to the New Hanover County Tax Department, ATTN: Appraisal Department, 230 Government Center Dr. Suite 190, Wilmington, NC 28403.
- An appeal form must be completed within 30 days of receiving the revaluation notice. By completing an appeal form, you are requesting an informal review of your property.
- You are encouraged to have information to support your position, i.e., a recent real estate appraisal of your property and records of known sales of nearby properties, or other factual information that you feel would be beneficial. Include this information with your appeal form.
2. Informal Appeal Process: The appraiser responsible for your area will review the appeal information that you have submitted. After review, you will be sent a notice with the informal review decision, with your property’s assessed value (note: a notice will be sent even if the value remains the same). If you agree to the value after the informal review decision is made, you must send a written notification to the Tax Department (via email or mail) that you agree with the value so that your appeal can be closed.
3. Formal Appeal Process: If you do not agree to the value after the informal review decision and you still believe that the real property value estimate is incorrect, please notify the appraiser handling your appeal by phone, email, or mail, that you still disagree. Your informal appeal status will then be changed to the formal appeal status and you will be scheduled for a hearing before the Board of Equalization & Review. You will be sent a notice notifying you within 10 days of your scheduled hearing to present information as to why you feel the value of your property is incorrect.
- The Board of Equalization and Review is composed of New Hanover County citizens, appointed by the Board of Commissioners, sitting in special session, to review and equalize the valuations of all property in the county. Meetings will take place at the New Hanover County Government Complex, 230 Government Center Drive. At the meeting, the appellant will have 15 minutes to present factual evidence to the board.
4. If, after appealing to the Board of Equalization and Review, you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you may appeal to the Property Tax Commission in Raleigh, NC. Information on how to submit your appeal will be included in the decision notice from your Board of Equalization hearing. The Property Tax Commission is located at 501 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604 in the Revenue Building.
5. The final method for appeal is to the NC court system.
As soon as you receive your annual property tax valuation from New Hanover County, you should begin the appeal process. The tax assessments become affective on January 1st. You have 30 days from the time you receive the letter to appeal. Just return the appeal form that is included with your letter and the appraisal supervisor of your area will contact you.
If you are not happy with the supervisor’s response, you can retrieve a “Valuation Complaint Form” from the Appraisal Office, which will be an appeal to the New Hanover County Board of Equalization and Review. Appeals must be submitted prior to the convening of the Board of Equalization and Review which meets between the first Monday in April and the first Monday in May.
After you meet with the New Hanover County Board of Equalization and Review, if you still are not happy with your property value, you can meet with the North Carolina Property Tax Commission in Raleigh. However, that doesn’t happen very often, because most cases are taken care of at the county level.
If you appeal your property value, you will need to provide sufficient proof. We would be happy to pull you some comparable homes to aid you in your argument. Just give us a call at 910.202.2546.
You can check your assessment information here.