Real and Personal Property

Overview

Real property taxes are based on the value of real property, land, and structures. The Orange County Tax Office ensures that property values are assessed uniformly and equitably among all property owners throughout the County. 

Personal property tax applies to, but is not limited to, machinery and equipment, construction in progress, computer equipment, office furniture and fixtures, leasehold improvements, supplies, expensed items, unregistered motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, manufactured homes, aircrafts, watercrafts, and other property.

When estimating revenues, counties must consider the likelihood of failing to collect 100% of total taxes billed in a given year. In Orange County, the overall collection rate budgeted in FY 2017-18 was 99.10% and for FY 2018-19 is 99.20%.

The County uses all property tax proceeds to fund General Fund expenditures.

Depending on a property's location in Orange County, additional municipal, fire, school, and other district tax rates may apply.

Appraisal and Revaluation

For real property, revaluation is the process of reappraising all real estate in the County to reflect the current market value and re-establish equity among properties that may have appreciated or depreciated in value at different rates since the County's last revaluation. This process is required by North Carolina law to take place at least once every eight years.

Currently, Orange County’s revaluation schedule includes reappraisal once every four years. The effective date of the most recent revaluation was January 1, 2017. All current tax assessments for real property reflect a market value as of that date. The next revaluation will be effective January 1, 2021, when tax assessments will be updated to reflect market value.

Personal property is appraised annually. In determining value, the appraiser considers among many factors the property’s replacement cost, sales price (of similar property), age, physical condition, productivity, remaining life, economic utility, and the effect of obsolescence on the property.