Wake County North Carolina Property Tax Value vs. Market Value

Real Estate Broker Owner with Realty Arts

Wake County, North Carolina has a wonderful amount of on-line information available to the public.

Property Buyers and Sellers can access photos, notes on building permits, tax bills, deed history, subdivision or area sales, structure information, and a map of the property, including zoning, environmental features, and aerial photography.



One item that confuses many Buyers from out of state is the lack of correlation between "Tax Value," and the Listing Price of a property for sale.  Basically, it is safe to say there is no correlation between the two in Wake County, and much of North Carolina.

In many regions "Tax Value" is adjusted to reflect recent sales activity, and correlates closely to property value.  Wake County Tax Values are re-assessed at eight year intervals.  There is an optional "adjustment" at the 4 year mark of that cycle.  It is not aggressively used to bring Tax Values "into line" with market conditions.

The next Wake County re-assessment is scheduled for 2008, and Tax Values will likely change dramatically to the upside. 

Separate from the Tax Value is the "Property Tax Rate."   This is the percentage taken against the Tax Value to determine the property tax due. 

In Wake County municipalities, the rate is in the <1% vicinity, i.e., on a home with a $275,000 Tax Value, the owner may pay <1%, or $2750+/-, property tax, including municipality and county taxes.

The Market Value of that home may be $275,000 or $600,000, or whatever, depending on whether it existed prior to the last re-assessment.

The Wake County Property Tax Rate for a home is .534%, which includes School taxes and a recycling fee, and the Town of Cary is .33% on my home, yielding a total property tax rate of .864%.


Click for current Wake County tax rates after 2008 reassessment

So, don't be surprised when Tax Value and Listing Price don't correlate.

And when you see a Wake County real estate advertisement trumpeting, "BELOW TAX VALUE!," be wary about interpreting that as an indication of value.  It may just be marketing to garner interest from folks who don't understand the local system.

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Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone to Email MeQR CodeMike Jaquish, REALTOR®

919-880-2769 www.RealtyArts.com

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Independent Broker/Owner, Realty Arts

130 Towerview Court,

Cary, NC


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Comments 19 New Comment

Mike Jaquish
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate
Realty Arts


I am seeing more and more properties which were overassessed and folks accepted it, knowing they were going to try to sell.  Then they are using tax valuations to justify pricing, when the homes' market prices were never that high.

June 29, 2008 08:42 PM
Anonymous #16

Mike, i know I'm a latecomer, but am compelled to throw in my two cents. Even when I worked for a mortgage company here last year we were able to create a decent estimate of what the appraised value would come in at based off of tax values and knowing that they ran from 10-30% less.

Nonetheless, we just bought a home and got taken by the tax value scenario.

Our own agent expressed amazement at the fact we were getting the house for 40K under tax value. The appraisal shows that the house is worth almost $30K less than the tax value. The current owner appealed right away in january 08 and lost, reason being that the value they gave her home was comparable to the other homes in the neighborhood, some of whom go up to $350K tax assessed value. Of course, those homes didn't make it as comps in the appraisal. Fortunately we are still walking in the door with 18K in equity...

a question i would pose is, now that we are in a buyer's market, does it typically stay that way for long in our market?

September 24, 2008 09:32 PM
Mike Jaquish
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate
Realty Arts


You will need either appreciation or reassessment to bring tax value and market value back into alignment.  Reassessment is performed every 8 years, so it may be worthwhile to press your case with Wake County.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, you know?

You might take your appraisal into Wake County Department of Revenue, to see if they will reopen your file and reexamine your tax value, since you are a recent buyer.  If an independent appraisal of market value will be accepted, you may benefit from paying for one.

I was denied in my first appeal, and repeated my appeal, and then received an adjustment in tax value.  I think that was some of the Wake County game plan, to deny and only deal with those who didn't go away.

Good Luck!

September 25, 2008 10:27 AM
Anonymous #18

just found this forum and am green behind the ears on all this, but i want to ask some things and hope i don't appear too dumb.  my hubby and i are looking at retirement and the economy, and considering an old (built 1932) house in beaufort co.,nc.  very few renovations have been done (so i'm sitting here wondering if it's old plaster walls that would need to be pulled out to replace dangerous cloth covered wiring etc...) and i'm not getting hardly any answers from the agent i was assigned to.  (really not happy about that; may well request a new one.)  the home sits on 2 lots and 2 addt. lots are included.  total assessed value is ~105 k; asking price 150 k.  (and yes, i've read that the 2 often don't correlate.)  we live out of state and hope to travel to see the place this weekend.  what i'm curious about is (can't get ahold of the tax assessor today yet, so don't have the year the tax assessment was done, etc.)  does anyone out there have a ballpark figure as to how much property has declined in the past couple years in nc?  anything anyone could offer would be appreciated.  deb

February 12, 2009 11:30 AM
Mike Jaquish
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate
Realty Arts


Make your agent work for you.

Read this brochure:


I can't really give you much help in the Beaufort County area, but there are several ActiveRain members who are located there:



February 12, 2009 01:31 PM

Mike Jaquish

919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate
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Cary, NC, blog. I'm in Cary, North Carolina, writing about Real Estate, including Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Wake County, NC, and around the USA..