North Carolina Deferred Tax Programs

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North Carolina offers several programs that defer taxes on qualified property during the time that the property is being used as specified in the program.

Land Use

The North Carolina Legislature enacted a program entitled the "Land Use Program" designed to give relief to specific landowners for property that is being used for the production of agricultural, horticultural or forest products. If property loses its eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three previous years, plus interest for all prior years.

Historic Properties

Real property designated as a historic structure or site by a local ordinance adopted pursuant to G.S. 160A-399.4 or designated as a historic landmark by a local ordinance adopted pursuant to G.S. 160A-400.5 is designated a special class of property under authority of Article V, Section 2(2) of the North Carolina Constitution. Property so classified shall be taxed uniformly as a class in each local taxing unit on the basis of fifty percent (50%) of the true value of the property as determined pursuant to G.S. 105-285 and 105-286, or 105-287. Currently, the only properties that have been designated as a historic landmark by local ordinance are in the Town of Kill Devil Hills. The town should be contacted at 252-449-5318 for further information on those properties. After property has been designated as historical property, the owner is required to submit a completed historical deferment application with the Dare County Appraisal Office.

The deferred taxes will not become due unless or until the property loses its eligibility for the benefit of this classification. This could occur because of a change in an ordinance designation or a change in the property which causes its historical significance to be lost or substantially impaired.

Working Waterfront

North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) 105-277.14 allows application by a property owner to defer taxes on property in use as working waterfront as defined below.

Any of the following property that has, for the most recent three year period, produced an average gross income of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000):

  1. pier that extends into coastal fishing waters and limits access to those who pay a fee.
  2. Real property that is adjacent to coastal fishing waters and is primarily used for a commercial fishing operation or fish processing, including adjacent land that is under improvements used for one of these purposes.

Working waterfront property is designated a special class of property under Section 2(2) of Article V of the North Carolina Constitution and must be appraised, assessed, and taxed on the basis of the value of the property in its present use rather than on its true value. Working waterfront property includes land reasonably necessary for the convenient use of the property.

The deferred taxes for the preceding three fiscal years are due and payable in accordance with G.S. 105 277.1F when the property loses its eligibility for deferral as a result of a disqualifying event. A disqualifying event occurs when the property no longer qualifies as working waterfront property.

To request an application for any of these programs, please call 252.475.5940.

The completed application must be filed with the Dare County Appraisal Office during the regular listing period, which is from January 15 through February 15. Late applications may be considered for good cause through the last day of the calendar year in which the tax is levied. Both a request to consider the late application and the application itself must be heard and decided by the Dare County Board of Equalization and Review, or the Board of Commissioners. Any application received after the calendar year ends cannot be approved for any reason or circumstance.