North Carolina’s real estate market has experienced a boom in recent years, driving up home prices and resulting in expected property tax increases, as almost a quarter of the counties in the state conduct revaluations in 2023.
Some Relief for Seniors
Mecklenburg County officials anticipate that revaluations will average a 51% increase in the summer when residents receive their bills. Heather Burkhardt, the executive director of the North Carolina Coalition on Aging, expressed concerns that the increases will hit seniors hard, who owns 82% of homes in the state and often live on fixed incomes. She called for creative solutions to ease the burden.
Lawmakers from both chambers of the General Assembly have proposed legislation to provide some relief. Republican Representative Matthew Winslow introduced House Bill 105, which aims to allow seniors who will be at least 65 years old during a portion of the year to defer taxes imposed on increases in the appraised value of their permanent residence, according to an article published in The Center Square.
The bill has gained the support of ten Republican co-sponsors. Senator Joyce Waddel, a Democrat from Mecklenburg, introduced a substantially similar Senate Bill 563 on Wednesday. While the Coalition on Aging has yet to endorse or support these bills, Burkhardt noted that they could benefit seniors in high-growth areas who struggle the most, as they would allow individuals to predict and plan for their tax bills.
Why the Legislation Was Created?
The legislation arose from constituent complaints and media reports of seniors who cannot afford to keep up with their rising property taxes. Michelle Kenny, the legislative assistant for Winslow, stated that people are having to leave their homes because they cannot pay their taxes.
Winslow also expressed his desire to help seniors stay in their homes. Burkhardt confirmed that this is an issue that she hears frequently, and individuals often sell their homes or look for a different house, which is a challenge in itself, The Mountaineer reports.