Tax Relief

Applying for Tax Relief

There is one combined application form for three (3) Property Tax Relief Programs:

  • Elderly or Disabled Homestead Exclusion
  • Disabled Veteran Homestead Exclusion
  • Circuit Breaker Homestead Tax Deferment Program

You must choose the program that applies to you. An application should be filed during the regular listing period (January 1-31); however, it may be filed and accepted at any time up to June 1.

APPLY HERE

The Elderly or Disabled Exclusion provides property tax relief for qualified North Carolinians who are age 65 and over or are totally and permanently disabled. The exemption excludes up to one‐half of your home's assessed value or $25,000 (whichever is greater) from property taxes.

Example:

Please note: This example is a comparative guide and is provided as a general informational tool only. The tax rate used in the example is the county‐wide general fund rate in effect for the tax year 2017.
Without Exclusion:With Exclusion:
Value of Home 150,000Value of Home 150,000
Less Exclusion Amount
25,000 or 50% of home value)
150,000 ‐75,000 = 75,000
Multiplied by County Tax Rate x .575Multiplied by County Tax Rate
x .575
Multiplied by City Hickory Tax Rate
x .5665
Total Taxes $1710Total Taxes $855

You may be qualified for the Homestead Exemption if:

  • YOU ARE at least 65 years of age on January 1st of the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; AND
  • YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE'S income did not exceed $29,600 for the year prior to which an application is made. You must own your permanent residence, including a manufactured home, and be a legal resident of Catawba County;
  • OR
  • YOU ARE certified totally and permanently disabled by a licensed physician or governmental agency; AND
  • YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE'S income did not exceed $29,600 for the year prior to which an application is made. You must own your permanent residence, including a manufactured home, and be a legal resident of Catawba County.

JOINT OWNERS (other than husband and wife) who meet all other requirements may be eligible for a partial exemption not to exceed their proportionate share of the valuation of the property.

It includes your dwelling, the dwelling site (not to exceed 1 acre). The dwelling may be a single-family residence, a unit in a multi-family complex, or a manufactured home.

For this exemption, the qualifying homeowner may submit an application by mail or in person at the Tax Department. To make an appointment or for further information, call (828) 465‐8426.

Income is defined as all other moneys received from every source other than gifts or inheritances from family members. Income does include money received from social security, disability, retirement and rental income. For the year 2018, the income limit is $29,600. This threshold is adjusted annually for cost‐of‐living.

If you are required to file a Federal Income Tax return, you must provide a copy of the first page of the return. For non-income tax filers, other proof of income is required. (See Application for details.) Proof of income must reflect income for the year immediately preceding the tax year for which an application is made. (For example, if an application is submitted for 2018, income for 2017 must be reported.)

No. You do not need to reapply annually. However, you must notify the Tax Assessor if:

  • You move, sell or rent your house, OR
  • You make changes to the owners listed on the deed, OR
  • There is a change in your disability status, OR
  • Your income increases to greater than is allowed to qualify

The Disabled Veterans Exclusion provides property tax relief for qualified Honorably Discharged North Carolina disabled veterans who have a total and permanent service‐connected disability or one that received benefits for specially adapted housing. The exemption excludes up to $45,000 of the assessed value of their permanent residence from property taxes.

Example:

Please note: This example is a comparative guide and is provided as a general informational tool only. The tax rate used in the example is county/city rate and in effect for the tax year 2017.
Without Exclusion:With Exclusion:
Value of Home 150,000Value of Home 150,000
Multiplied by County Rate
x .00575
Less Exclusion Amount
-45,000
(150,000 - 45,000) = 105,000
Multiplied by City Hickory Tax Rate
x .05665
Multiplied by County Rate
x .00575
Multiplied by City Hickory Tax Rate
x .05665
Total Taxes $1,710Total Taxes $1,195

You may be qualified for the Disabled Veteran Exclusion if:

  • YOU ARE an Honorably Discharged Disabled Veteran or Discharged Under Honorable Conditions Disabled Veteran (or unmarried surviving spouse of same) who owns your permanent residence, (including a manufactured home) and is a legal resident of Catawba County; AND
  • YOU (or YOUR SPOUSE) are certified by the Veteran’s Administration or another federal agency to have a permanent and 100% total disability that is service‐connected.
  • OR
  • YOU ARE an Honorably Discharged Disabled Veteran or Discharged Under Honorable Conditions Disabled Veteran (or unmarried surviving spouse of same) who owns your permanent residence, (including a manufactured home) and is a legal resident of Catawba County; AND
  • YOU (or YOUR SPOUSE) received benefits for specially adapted house under 38 U.S.C. § 2101.

It includes your dwelling, the dwelling site (not to exceed 1 acre), and related improvements such as a garage, carport or storage building. The dwelling may be a single-family residence, a unit in a multi‐family complex, or a manufactured home.

For this exemption, the qualifying homeowner may submit an application by mail or in person at the Tax Department. To make an appointment or for further information, call (828) 465‐8426 or (828) 465‐8427.

You must furnish the following:

  • Proof that the Veteran was Honorably Discharged. (i.e. Form DD‐256 or DD214), AND
  • Certification by VA or another federal agency that permanent and 100% total disability is service connected (Veteran’s Disability Certification Form NCDVA ‐9) OR
  • Proof that veteran received or is receiving benefits for specially adapted housing under 38 U.S.C. § 2101.

There is no income limitation for this tax relief.

Applications are timely filed if received by June 1st of the year for which the exemption is applied.

No. You do not need to reapply annually. However, you must notify the Tax Assessor if:

  • You move, sell or rent your house, OR
  • You make changes to the owners listed on the deed, OR
  • There is a change in your disability status.

The Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment program limits the amount of taxes qualified North Carolinians (age 65 and over or totally and permanently disabled) must pay on their permanent residence (homestead). Taxes are limited to a percentage of their income. Taxes above that percentage are deferred until there is a disqualifying event that triggers the repayment of the deferred taxes.

*Homeowners with incomes of $29,600 or less and who are over age 65 or are totally and permanently disabled should consider applying for the Elderly or Disabled Homestead Exclusion (see Tab #1). The exclusion may provide more tax relief than the Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program. Homeowners cannot be granted both types of property relief.
Tax Limitations for 2017
Income = $0 to $29,600*Taxes are limited to 4% of annual income.
Income = $29,601 – $44,400Taxes are limited to 5% of annual income.
Income = Over $44,400Does not qualify.

You may be qualified for the Circuit Breaker Homestead Tax Deferment Program if:

  • YOU ARE a Catawba County Resident at least 65 years of age on January 1st of the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; AND
  • YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE'S income did not exceed $44,400 for the year prior to which an application is made; AND
  • YOU HAVE owned and occupied your current permanent legal residence for 5 or more years; OR
  • YOU ARE certified totally and permanently disabled by a licensed physician or governmental agency; AND
  • YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE'S income did not exceed $44,400 for the year prior to which an application is made; AND
  • YOU HAVE owned and occupied your current permanent legal residence for 5 or more years.

If the property is owned by multiple owners (other than husband and wife), every owner must meet the qualifications above.

Deferred taxes are the amount of taxes on one’s Homestead/Permanent Residence over and above the limitation (either 4% or 5% of one’s income) granted by the program. Unlike some other tax relief programs, deferred taxes are a lien on the property. The Tax Department keeps a record of the deferred taxes until a disqualifying event triggers the repayment of the deferred taxes.

A disqualifying event would be:

  • Death of the owner.
  • Transfer of the property.
  • Owner ceases to use the property as a permanent residence.

Until a disqualification event occurs, the deferred taxes will not become due. Since incomes can vary from year to year it is possible that you may qualify one year, but not the next, and then re‐qualify in a subsequent year .

The last three years of deferred taxes prior to a disqualifying event and any deferred taxes for the year of and subsequent to the disqualifying event must be repaid.

Yes, Interest does have to be repaid on deferred taxes. The amount if interest is calculated from the date the taxes would have originally become due.

Income is defined as all other moneys received from every source other than gifts or inheritances from family members. Income does include money received from social security, disability, retirement and rental income. For the year 2018, the income limit is $44,400. This threshold is adjusted annually for cost‐of‐living.

It includes your dwelling, the dwelling site (not to exceed 1 acre), and related improvements such as a garage, carport or storage building. The dwelling may be a single family residence, a unit in a multi‐ family complex, or a manufactured home. The tax on additional land and buildings, not part of the homestead/permanent residence, is not subject to any limitation.

For this exemption, the qualifying homeowner may submit an application by mail or in person at the Tax Department. To make an appointment or for further information, call (828) 465-8426. Since this program is based on your annual income, you must file a new application each year.

You must furnish a certification that you are totally and permanently disabled from a licensed physician (Form AV-9V, Certification of Disability). The agency must have the proper authority to determine qualifications for disability benefits. If you or your spouse is over 65 years old, you do not need to submit a certification of disability.

If you are required to file a Federal Income Tax return you must provide a copy of the first page of the return. For non-income tax filers, other proof of income is required. (See Application for details.) Proof of income must reflect income for the year immediately preceding the tax year for which an application is made. (For example, if an application is submitted for 2018, income for 2017 must be reported.)

Applications are timely filed if received by June 1st of the year for which the exemption is applied.

Yes. An annual application is required.