Wake County recently released the names of their top ten property tax payers and some of the names on the list may surprise you.
The Top Ten
10. DRA Advisor’s Growth & Income Funds
- Value assessed at $241,980,608
- Taxes Due: $1,292,176
9. Bellsouth Telephone Co.
- Value assessed at $252,247,667
- Taxes Due: $1,347,003
8. NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency
- Value assessed at $292,809,888
- Taxes Due: $1,563,605
7. Crabtree Valley Mall
- Value assessed at $334,450, 819
- Taxes Due: $1,785,967
6. Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc.
- Value assessed at $337,946,650
- Taxes Due: $1,804,635
5. Highwoods Realty, LP
- Value assessed at $380,429,755
- Taxes Due: $2,031,495
4. Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Value assessed at $461,467,059
- Taxes Due: $2,464,234
3. Weeks Realty, LP + Duke Realty, LP
- Value assessed at $477,273,171
- Taxes Due: $2,548,639
2. SAS Institute, Inc.
- Value assessed at $498,736,086
- Taxes Due: $2,663,251
1. Progress Energy Carolinas
- Value assessed at $1,539,985,652
- Taxes Due: $8,223,523
Knowing the top 10 and even the top 50 taxpayers within your jurisdiction is important to ensuring that you focus your property tax collection efforts where you will get the most in return. So, if you don’t know these numbers for your county, there is no time like the present to start compiling the list.
Once you know who the top tax contributors are, pay special attention to these properties, particularly if they are commercial properties, to make sure you get an accurate appraisal of their true value with each revaluation. Companies like these often update and add to their facilities.
Also do your homework by checking for new building permits, especially for commercial properties in your Top 50 list, to make certain that any improvements are immediately added to the tax rolls. Remembering to do so will not only add value to the property, but will avoid charging the taxpayer with a penalty if discovered at a later date.
So, as a best practice, keep a list of your jurisdiction’s top 50 taxpayers on hand and update it each year to ensure that you maximize your property tax opportunity.
According to a recent land survey, 93 property owners who live along the North Carolina/South Carolina border are paying property taxes to the wrong state.
How did this happen? Interestingly enough, the blame dates back to 1735 when King George II sent surveyors equipped with poles and measured chains to mark the boundary between the two Carolinas according to his specific instructions.
Now, due to the availability of GPS technology, exact coordinates have been made and the end result is that the surveyors in the 1700’s were not so accurate. In addition, the U.S. Congress has decreed that the boundary is officially the instructions given by the King, not the line that has been set on current maps.
The new border is about 150 feet south of the old one and affects Mecklenburg County and Polk County in NC, and York County and Spartanburg County in SC.
While this is a boon for NC property tax collections in those counties, it’s not such a pleasant experience for home and business owners who are now officially residents of another state. So, prepare for irritated responses and complex scenarios such as a property owner who officially owes taxes for two-thirds of his home to one state and one-third to the other.
The new surveying of the state line is an ongoing process that started in the western part of the state and is continuing on toward the Atlantic Ocean. So, stay tuned as additional boundary modifications will mean a change to your NC property tax jurisdiction.
Last week I attended the 2011 North Carolina GIS Conference in Raleigh. The conference is bigger than a lot of national conferences and attracts folks from North Carolina and surrounding states. I’ve actually been attending this conference throughout my career, starting with my US EPA days through IBM and now as a representative of Farragut. I’ve been to a lot of state GIS conferences, and I have always been particularly impressed with this conference and the state of GIS technology in North Carolina. The quality of papers and general information that you pull out of this conference has always been impressive.
One of the things that seem to make this conference better is that they only hold it every other year, which seems to increase the quality of presentation as well as prevent some of the burnout associated with running a conference every year (speaking from experience since I’ve been on URISA’s Integrating GIS and CAMA Technologies Conference committee for about 10 years). They also do a very good job at recruiting papers which helps to improve the overall quality of the papers. They have some really good and dedicated folks (many of which have become friends over the years) running the conference. If you ever get the chance to attend this conference, you’ll find it well worth your time, even if you’re not from North Carolina.