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Requirements for Property Tax Exemption or Exclusion

 

North Carolina General Statute 105-282.1 governs applications for exemption or exclusion. Strict compliance is necessary in order for property to be properly exempted or excluded from taxation.

Every owner claiming exemption or exclusion has the burden of establishment that the property is entitled to such preferential treatment. Because taxation is the rule and exemption, doubts about the property's entitlement to the exemption should be resolved in favor of taxing the property. By proceeding in this way, a Board of Equalization and Review protects all taxpayers. Keep in mind that when one property is exempted, the tax burden on all other properties increase. Whenever in doubt, construe towards taxation and away from exemption.

If a taxpayer claiming exclusion under one of the sections did not file an application during the calendar year for which the exclusion is claimed, the property cannot be excluded, nor can the taxes due on the property be released or compromised, except in one instance. N.C.G.S. 105-312(c) provides that when unlisted property is discovered by the Assessor under the provisions of G.S. 105-312, the body hearing the taxpayer's appeal may grant an exemption or exclusion if the property meets the necessary requirements. This is the only instance in which a taxpayer may receive benefit for a prior year based on a current year application, and it applies only where the property was not listed in prior years.

Late Applications

The general rule, is the application must be filed with the Assessor during the listing period. Most often, this is the month of January.

North Carolina General Statutue 105-282 however, provides an avenue for the receipt and approval of untimely filed applications. To be approved, the applicant must show good cause for his/her failure to make a timely application. Furthermore, the decision to accept and aprove untimely applications rests not with the Assessor, but with the Board of Equalization and Review, the Board of County Commisioners or the governing board of a municipality, as appropriate.

Untimely applications approved in this manner apply only to the current tax year. This bears a closer look as it comes up so often. If a church (or other owner which may qualify for exemption or exclusion of certain items of real or personal property), owns property which is listed for tax year 2014 (whether listed by the owner or by the county through its permanent listing system), and if no late application showing good cause is received during 2014, the property is taxable for 2014, regardless of the religious use made of it. If the church does not raise a question until 2015, no retroactive exclusion or exemption is possible, and consequently the tax may not be released or refunded.

Who is required to file an original application, BUT NOT an annual reapplication?

The following owners do not have to reapply unless new or additional property is acquired, added or removed, OR there is a change in the use of the property or the qualifications/eligibility of the owner.

N.C.G.S. 105.277.1 - elderly and disabled owners of real property.
N.C.G.S. 105.278.3 - certain owners of real and personal property used for religious purposes.
N.C.G.S. 105.278.4 - certain owners of real and personal property used for educational purposes.
N.C.G.S. 105.278.5 - certain religious owners of real and personal property used for religious and educational purposes (Assemblies and retreats).
N.C.G.S. 105.278.6 - certain owners of real and personal property used for charitable purposes.
N.C.G.S. 105.278.7 - certain owners of real and personal property used for educational, scientific, literary, or charitable purposes.
N.C.G.S. 105.278.8 - certain owners of real and personal property used for charitable hospital purposes.
N.C.G.S. 105.275(3) - nonprofit water and nonprofit sewer associations or corporations.
N.C.G.S. 105.275(7) - nonprofit owners of real and personal property appropriated exclusively for public parks and drives.
N.C.G.S. 105.275(12) - nonprofit owners of real property used for educational and scientific purposes as a protected natural area.
N.C.G.S. 105-275 (39)- nonprofit corporate owners of real and personal property organized for the sole purpose of financing projects for public use.

N.C.G.S.105-277(8) - property of nonprofit homeowner's association.

 

 

Questions?

Dee Hill Tax Relief Administrator dhill@hendersoncountync.org 828-698-4424
Kim Woody Customer Service Specialist kswoody@hendersoncountync.org 828-697-4644

 


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200 North Grove St,
Suite 102
Hendersonville NC, 28792
Phone: (828) 697-4870
Fax: (828) 697-4578