Property Tax Relief

North Carolina offers three targeted tax relief programs: our traditional Elderly/Disabled Exclusion, an updated Disabled Veteran’s Exclusion, and a new program called the Homestead Circuit Breaker.

Senior Citizens / Disabled

North Carolina excludes from property taxes a portion of the appraised value of a permanent residence owned and occupied by North Carolina residents aged 65 or older or totally and permanently disabled whose income does not exceed $28,600 annually. The amount of the appraised value of the residence that may be excluded from taxation is the greater of twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000) or fifty percent (50%) of the appraised value of the residence. Income is defined as monies received from every source including Social Security benefits, retirement payments, proceeds from insurance policies, interest, dividends, etc. It does not include gifts or inheritances from a spouse or immediate family member.

To apply for this exclusion, you may print an application which you can complete and return to us. To apply for this exclusion due to disability, you must attach a certificate which certifies that you are totally and permanently disabled from a physician licensed as a medical doctor in North Carolina or a governmental agency authorized to make such a determination. The deadline for submitting applications is June 1. You will receive written notification if the application is denied.

If you have previously received this exclusion, you do not need to apply again unless you have changed your permanent residence. If you have received the exclusion, and your income now exceeds $28,600, you must notify our office. If you received the exclusion because you were totally and permanently disabled, and you are no longer totally and permanently disabled, you must notify our office.

If the person receiving the exclusion has died, the person required by law to list the property must notify our office. Failure to make any of the notices required by law before June 1, will result in penalties and interest.

Disabled Veterans

North Carolina excludes from property taxes $45,000 of the appraised value of a permanent residence owned and occupied by an honorably discharged disabled veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse of an honorably discharged disabled veteran. A disabled Veteran is a Veteran who either (1) has 100% permanent total disability that is service-connected or (2) receives benefits for specially adapted housing under 38 U.S.C. 2101. Complete an Application for Property Tax Relief Form AV-9 for certification by the US Department of Veterans Affairs for a veteran who has a 100% total permanent, service-connected disability.

Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment for Senior Citizens

Under this program, taxes for each year are limited to a percentage of the qualifying owner’s income. A qualifying owner must either be at least 65 years of age or be totally and permanently disabled. For an owner whose income amount for the previous year does not exceed the income eligibility limit for the current year, which for the 2014 tax year is $28,600 the owner’s taxes will be limited to four percent (4%) of the owner’s income. For an owner whose income exceeds the income eligibility limit ($28,600) but does not exceed 150% of the income eligibility limit, which for the 2014 tax year is $42,900, the owner’s taxes will be limited to five percent (5%) of the owner’s income.

However, the taxes over the limitation amount are deferred and remain a lien on the property. The last three years of deferred taxes prior to a disqualifying event will become due and payable, with interest, on the date of the disqualifying event. Interest accrues on the deferred taxes as if they had been payable on the dates on which they would have originally become due. Disqualifying events are death of the owner, transfer of the property, and failure to use the property as the owner’s permanent residence. Exceptions and special provisions apply. See G.S. 105-277.1B for the full text of the statute.

An annual application is required for continued participation in the Circuit Break Program!

Exempt Properties

Every property owner claiming exemption from property taxes must establish that the property is entitled thereto. Any owner claiming exemption, with the exception of the United States Government, The State of North Carolina, and the counties and municipalities of the State, must file an application with the Tax Assessor's Office. If the property for which the exemption is claimed is appraised by the Department of Revenue, the application shall be filed with the Department. Applications are made available in person or by mail from the Tax Assessor's Office. The Department of Revenue or the Tax Assessor to whom the application is submitted shall review the application for approval or denial.

Approved applications are filed and made available to all taxing units within Forsyth County. The Tax Assessor maintains a tax scroll of all property that is granted tax relief through exemption. For further information regarding exempt properties, contact the Tax Assessor's Office at (336) 703-2300.