- Tax Department
- 2021 Revaluation
The New Hanover County Tax Department has completed the 2021 Tax Revaluation for all properties in the county. Residential and commercial property value notices were mailed to residential and commercial real property owners in February 2021. Property values can also be viewed online on the Search Personal Property Records website.
View the 2021 Schedule of Values (PDF).
The revaluation’s purpose is to fairly reflect the value of all property and to help ensure that property owners pay equitable tax based on the value of their property. The new values become effective on January 1, 2021.
Please note: reappraisals do not reflect what a property owner’s tax bill will be. Tax rates will be set by the Board of Commissioners and other municipalities by June 2021.
Additional information about the 2021 Tax Revaluation and the steps to appeal your property value can be found in the FAQs on this page.
- When will I receive a bill for my real estate taxes?
Tax notices (bills) are mailed in August each year and are due on September 1st but payable until January 5th (the next business day if the 5th falls on a weekend) of the next year to avoid legal action. Partial payments are accepted prior to the delinquent date. Interest begins January 5th at a rate of 2% and increases by 3/4% each month thereafter. Delinquent taxes are subject to immediate garnishment, foreclosure, or seizure of property. Unpaid taxes are advertised between the months of March and April.
- Where can I pay my taxes?
The most convenient way to pay your taxes is by mail. You can send your payments to the post office box in Charlotte which is on the bill you receive in the mail, or mail them directly New Hanover County Tax Office, P.O. Box 18000, Wilmington, NC. 28406. You may also pay your bills in person at or office located at 230 Government Center Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 between the hours of 8:00 am and 5 pm. Monday through Friday.
- How Are Taxes Determined?
The responsibility of the Tax Department is to value all taxable property in the county. The total value of all the property in the county is called the tax base. Each county agency and/or department submits an annual operating budget to our County Budget Department. This information is forwarded to the County Manager who submits a recommended total budget to the County Commissioners for their consideration. The Board of Commissioners, along with the Budget Department and the County Manager, review the budget and the tax base to determine a recommended tax rate. This is also done to establish a fire district tax. Of course, this process is not as simple as it sounds, many hours are spent analyzing the departmental budgets, county programs, and outside agencies to arrive at a budget that will provide services to the citizens of New Hanover County.
Each municipality completes a similar process. The whole process is usually completed by the end of June and the county commissioners and town boards establish new tax rates by July 1. Once the tax rates are established, taxpayers receive a consolidated tax bill, usually in August, which includes their county and fire district tax if their taxable property is only within the county boundaries, or their county and municipality taxes which are the City of Wilmington, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, depending on the location of the property.
- What Is Taxable Property?
Personal property includes motor vehicles, boats, campers, trailers, single-wide mobile homes and double-wide mobile homes with the moving hitch, wheels, and axle attached, and airplanes. Anyone who owns any of these items on January 1, (excluding licensed motor vehicles) must list them with the Tax Department during the month of January each year. If a property tax listing form, also known as an abstract of taxable property, is not received in the mail, please call our office at 910-798-7300 to request one. A 10% late listing penalty will be charged for anyone not listing their required property with the Tax Department before the January 31st deadline. If January 31st falls on a weekend the next business day will be the deadline.
Licensed Motor Vehicles
Licensed motor vehicles and trailers are listed automatically when you first register or renew your motor vehicle or trailer registration through the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Business Personal Property
Business personal property includes machinery, computer/office equipment, airplanes, unlicensed vehicles, leasehold improvements, leased equipment, supplies, furniture, fixtures, farm equipment, etc. which are used for a business. Listings must be submitted during the month of January to avoid a 10% late listing penalty. However, an extension can be granted until March 15, if the request is made in writing and is postmarked or hand delivered to the Tax Department by January 31st or if January 31st falls on a weekend the first business day following the 31st. Business property statements are mailed to all business' who listed the previous year or for anyone who has requested a form. If you have business personal property, and do not receive a listing form, please call the Info Center at 910-798-7300 and request a form be mailed to you.
Real property includes any structures or improvements on land including doublewide and single-wide mobile homes on the land of the same owner with it's wheels and axles removed. You do not have to list real property each year only improvements made to the property. Real Property is permanently listed in New Hanover County so you no longer have to list real property each year. However, you must still list improvements made to the property.
Any improvements made during the previous year must be listed during the regular listing period which is the month of January. If you have made improvements to your property and did not receive an abstract, a form can be requested by calling 910-798-7300 or you can write to the Tax Administrator's office and ask us to list for you. This letter must include your name and mailing address, the address of the property, the type of improvement made and the percentage of work completed as of January 1. Someone from the appraisal office will visit your property and identify improvements which have been made. That information will be entered into the tax data base to calculate a value using the adopted schedule of values in effect for the most recent revaluation.
The effective date of our current revaluation is January 1, 2021. Anytime we make a change in your value, you will be notified in writing. If you do not agree with this value, you should contact our Information Center at 910-798-7300 and they will arrange for you to discuss your value with an appraiser. The next revaluation is scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2025.
You may appeal your value in any year between January 1 and the adjournment of the Board of Equalization and Review. The Board of Equalization and Review meets between the first Monday in April and the first Monday in May of each year.
- What Is Revaluation And Why Have It?
Revaluation is a systematic, in depth process using a Computer Aided Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system to reappraise or reassess all real property in the County to the current market value. (Appraised value and assessed value can be used interchangeably in North Carolina because property is required to be assessed at 100% of its appraised value.) The real estate market is one of constant change caused by the freedom we have to buy and sell property. This change can vary greatly depending on a property's size, type and location. This can create an inequitable situation in the level of assessment among owners of property and inequity among differing types of property.
The longer this situation exists, the more unjust it becomes. The end result is an unfair tax burden on those properties which have an assessed value close to the actual market value compared to those properties whose assessed value is well below market value. The relationship between assessed, or tax value, and market value is called the sales/assessment ratio.
A countywide revaluation is an enormous and complex task. We are fortunate to have a qualified and knowledgeable in-house appraisal team in New Hanover County. They are all residents of the local area who are very familiar with property in this County. They have made every effort to consider the many factors involved in determining property values through the completion of the revaluation process. Field inspections are conducted, sales files are developed and analyzed and market trends continually monitored. Contacts are made with property owners, local realtors, building contractors, building suppliers and home lending institutions, all for the purpose of being as knowledgeable as possible about property values.
- How is my value determined?
In conducting mass appraisal, the appraisers are generally guided by three basic approaches for analyzing the value of properties. They are:
- The Cost Approach
- The Market (Sales Comparison) Approach
- The Income Approach
The Cost Approach, which is the best suited of the three approaches for the valuation of real property in the "mass appraisal" process, serves as the primary valuation method in New Hanover County. The Cost Approach, estimates the replacement cost new of the property, or the cost to build a structure of equivalent utility (functionality). The estimates are based from costing manuals and local contractors. From that, an estimate of total accrued depreciation (physical, functional, external) is observed, calculated and deducted from the cost estimate to generate the depreciated replacement cost new. To that, land valued separately is then added to get an estimate of the fair market value of the property.
The Market approach to value compares the property being appraised with similar properties sold in the past.
The Income Approach is the process of estimating the value of an income-producing property through capitalization of the annual net income expected to be produced by the property.
The Market and Income Approaches each analyze the value of the whole property. In order to derive a building value estimate from either of these indications of value, the value of the land must be subtracted from the total value. Should the Market or Income Approach, or both, thus indicate a very low contribution for the buildings, the land may be mis-improved (the buildings will no longer represent the highest and best use of the land). The appraiser may be required to apply an appropriate significant amount of Functional or Economic Obsolescence.
If two or three of the approaches indicate significantly different values, the appraiser who reviews the components of each approach usually finds additional factors that must be considered. Not all properties are a candidate for the application of all three approaches.
The Tax Administrator's Office is required to divide every parcel's appraised value into its components (land and building). However, the somewhat artificial allocation of a given parcel's total value (final market value) into its land and building components must not be compared to a similar allocation of total value in any other appraisal opinion. Any such comparison is invalid.
Should an owner elect to appeal a value, only the total value is in question - not its components.