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Real Estate

The real estate assessment office appraises and assesses all real estate in Buncombe County.

North Carolina General Statutes require that real estate be assessed at 100% of its market value as of January 1 of each reappraisal year. The assessment of new construction is based on its percent of completion as of January 1. The Assessment Office also administers the present land use and exemption programs.


Real estate includes land, buildings, structures, and improvements. A manufactured home located on land owned by the owner of the manufactured home is also considered to be real estate.

Property owners as of January 1 are required to list any new buildings, additions, improvements, or deletions that occurred during the previous year. A construction permit does not fulfill this requirement. The listing must be filed during the listing period January 1 - January 31 of each year. Painting, re-roofing, and landscaping are considered maintenance and do not require a listing form.

Ownership of real estate is established on January 1 of the tax year. Transfer of ownership during the year does not relieve the seller of tax liability. Prorations at the time of closing are part of a private contract between buyer and seller. The owner as of January 1 will receive any bills issued for the year and is responsible to see that the appropriate party pays the tax bill. If you have questions about how your taxes were prorated, contact your realtor or closing attorney.

Property Tax Exemption

Any property owner requesting exemption from property tax "has the burden of establishing the property is entitled to the exemption" — NCGS §105.282.1(a).

Exempt Real Estate, as defined by NCGS §105-278.3(a), states that buildings, the land they actually occupy, and additional adjacent land reasonably necessary for the convenient use of any such building shall be exempted from taxation if wholly owned by a qualified agency.

Exemption Requirements

All property granted exemption will be reviewed at least once every four years to verify that the property continues to qualify for exemption.

  • OWNERSHIP - Property Ownership by a non-profit 501 C-3 organization or other qualified agency.
  • USE - Wholly and exclusively used for a charitable, religious, or educational, scientific, or literary purpose.
  • APPLICATION - An exemption application is required for any property requesting property tax exemption. The Tax Office prior to January 31st of the current year must receive all new applications and all applications due for review. In addition, it is the property owner's responsibility to list any changes in the use or status of the property prior to January 31st of the current tax year.

Exempt Property Can Still Be Taxable

A property owned by an exempt entity but not in use for an exempt purpose is taxable. For example,

  • An office building owned by a church or other 501C-3 corporation but rented or leased to others is taxable.
  • A parking lot owned by exempt entity, but rented or leased to others for parking is taxable.
  • The portion of a building that is not used for an exempt purpose or is leased to others is taxable.
  • Vacant land owned by an exempt entity but not used for an exempt purpose is taxable.
  • Property used but not owned by an exempt agency is taxable.
  • Property that meets the ownership and use requirements but did not have an application filed by January 31 of the current year, is taxable.
  • Exempt property sold before July 1 of the current year to a taxable entity, will be listed and taxable to the new owner for the entire tax year. — NCGS §105-285(d)

File a Tax Exemption Request

You may complete all sections online that pertain to the Tax Exemption program you are applying for, then print. You may also print the blank form and complete it by hand.

Regardless of which way you choose make sure to sign and date your request. All owners must also sign and date.

IMPORTANT! Once an application has been approved, the property owner must file a new application when new or additional property is acquired or improvements are added or removed, or whenever there is a change in the use of the property. — NCGS §105-282.1(2)

Deferments

Property Tax Deferments for land that is designated Agricultural, Horticultural, Historical, Forestland, or has a Wildlife Conservation Easement.

Present Use Value Program

The North Carolina General Assembly enacted the Present-Use Value Program, which allows reduced tax assessments for individually owned property used for agriculture, horticulture or forestry. Property accepted into this program is taxed at its “present use value” as a farm. This value is usually less than the market value of the property.

The difference between the market value and the present use value is “deferred”. When the property or a portion of the property is removed from the program for any reason, the deferred taxes for the current year and the previous three years plus interest becomes due. Applications for this program are taken during the listing period in January of each year.

IMPORTANT! In the Present Use Assessment Application, under 'Contact Information' please sign and date your application. All owners must also sign and date. Remember to send copies of receipts for Agriculture and Horticulture or a copy of your forestry plan unless we already have one on file.


Agricultural Deferment

Agricultural use is land that is a part of a farm unit actively engaged in the commercial production or growing of crops, plants, or animals under a sound management program.

Deferment Requirements

  • One tract must consist of at least ten (10) acres that are in actual production of agricultural products.
  • May consist of more than one tract of agricultural land, but at least one of the tracts must meet the requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • Must have produced an average gross income from agricultural products of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year for the three years preceding January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed. Gross income includes income from the sale of the agricultural products produced from the land and any payments received under a governmental soil conservation or land retirement program.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years preceding January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed.
  • If property loses its eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three (3) previous years, plus interest for all prior years. If only a part of the qualifying tract loses it's eligibility, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applicable to that part, and that amount shall become payable with interest.

Forestland Deferment

Forestland use is land that is part of a forest unit that is actively engaged in the commercial growing of trees under a sound management program.

Deferment Requirements

  • One tract must consist of at least 20 acres that are in actual production of trees.
  • May consist of more than one tract of forestland, but at least one of the tracts must meet the requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years preceding January 1 of the year in which the benefit is claimed.
  • If property loses it's eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three previous years, plus interest for all prior years. If only a part of the qualifying tract loses it's eligibility, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applicable to that part, and that amount shall become payable with interest.

Horticultural Deferment

Horticultural land means land that is a part of a horticultural unit that is actively engaged in the commercial production or growing of fruits or vegetables or nursery or floral products under a sound management program.

If property loses it's eligibility for any reason, deferred taxes become due for the current year plus three previous years, plus interest for all prior years. If only a part of the qualifying tract loses it's eligibility, a determination shall be made of the amount of deferred taxes applicable to that part, and that amount shall become payable with interest.

Deferment Requirements

  • One tract must consist of at least five (5) acres that are in actual production of horticultural products..
  • May consist of more than one tract of horticultural land, but at least one of the tracts must meet the requirements and each tract must be under a sound management program.
  • Must have produced an average gross income from horticultural products of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year for the three years preceding January 1 of the year in which this benefit is claimed. Gross income includes income from the sale of the horticultural products produced from the land and any payments received under a governmental soil conservation or land retirement program.
  • If individually owned, the property must be the owner's residence or have been owned by the current owner or a relative of the current owner for four years preceding January 1 of the year in which the benefit is claimed.

Historical Property Deferment

Historical property is real property designated as a historic structure or site by a local ordinance adopted by the Historical Property Commission. Property that is classified as historical shall be taxed on the basis of fifty percent (50%) of the true appraised value of the historic portion of the property.

Once the property has been designated as historical property, the owner is required to contact the local Tax Assessor's Office during the listing period (January 1-January 31) for a historical deferment application.

The deferred taxes will not become due unless or until the property loses it's 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 it's historical significance to be lost or substantially impaired.

Wildlife Conservation Easement

Wildlife Conservation property is designated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. You must have at least twenty (20) acres but no more than one hundred (100) acres to qualify. Riparian zones and endangered species’ habitats are part of the easement program.

To start the process of obtaining a Wildlife Conservation Easement, visit www.ncwildlife.org for detailed instructions. The Wildlife Commission will assign a wildlife officer to the property, and the officer will visit the owner of the property, write a conservation easement, and help the owner complete an application for the Wildlife Conservation Land Program.

Documents & Forms

Real Estate Division documents, files, and forms.

View All Tax Documents & Forms

Locate & Contact

Real Estate Assessment

Contact

Real Estate Assessment
P: (828) 250-4940

Land Records
P: (828) 250-4970

Tax Exemptions
P: (828) 250-4915

Tax Assessment
155 Hilliard Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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NOTE: Free limited parking is available at 155 Hilliard Avenue.