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Grandfather Mountain: Educational or Recreational?

August 5, 2013

[UPDATE: In August 2014 the N.C. Court of Appeals reversed the PTC decision and found in favor of the county. For many of the reasons I discuss below, the Court of Appeals held that the Grandfather Mountain property does not qualify … Continued

The Final Four of Tax Questions

April 11, 2013

With this week’s men’s and women’s championship games (neither of which featured my beloved Blue Devils, alas), the college basketball season came to a close.  But don’t despair—you won’t need to wait a full year for another Final Four.  After … Continued

Denying Government Services Due to Delinquent Property Taxes

February 28, 2013

Earlier this week a city official asked this interesting question, “Can we refuse to allow residents who have not paid their property taxes to use city recreational facilities?”  The city that raised the question operates a recreation center with a swimming pool and … Continued

When Does An Appraisal Error Justify a Refund?

February 14, 2013

Which of these appraisal errors justifies a property tax refund? 1.  Taxpayer is taxed for property that did not have a taxable situs in the jurisdiction. 2.  Taxpayer is taxed for a house that burned the prior December. 3.  Taxpayer … Continued

Palm Trees and Property Tax Appraisals

January 31, 2013

 What justifies a change to a real property tax appraisal in between county-wide reappraisals? The short answer is “not much.”  For a longer answer, take a look at last week’s opinion from the N.C. Supreme Court in Appeal of Ocean … Continued

Tax Foreclosures and Competing Liens

September 13, 2012

When property owners stop paying their property taxes, it’s a good bet that they’ve been ignoring other obligations concerning those properties as well.  Weeds grow chest-high, houses slowly crumble, and neighbors begin to use the lots as informal trash dumps. … Continued