Homestead Exemption Statutes in North Carolina

Homestead exemptions help reduce elderly homeowners' housing expenses.
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Homeowners in the "Old North State," or North Carolina, can get property tax relief in the form of a homestead exemption if they meet certain requirements. North Carolina's statutes allow for three different homestead exemption programs. They include elderly and disabled exemptions, disabled veteran exemptions and a "circuit breaker" exemption. Statutes mandate that homeowners meet certain criteria, some of which apply to all three homestead programs, across the board.


Elderly Exemption

Under North Carolina law, a homeowner qualifies for a homestead property tax exemption if he is at least 65 years of age or is totally and permanently disabled. A homeowner and spouse may have a combined income of up to $28,100, as of he time of publication. The homeowner must be a resident of North Carolina. The value of the exemption is $25,000 or 50 percent of the appraised value of the property, whichever is higher.


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Helping Veterans and Military Spouses

To qualify as a disabled veteran and be eligible for a homestead property tax exemption under North Carolina law, a person must meet certain criteria. The homeowner must be a veteran of any branch of the United States armed forces with an honorable discharge and must be disabled or be the spouse of a disabled veteran. The disabled veteran homestead exemption is $45,000.


Preventing Property Tax Overload

A circuit breaker exemption kicks in when a homeowner's income becomes overly burdened by property taxes. As of the time of publication, homeowners who, along with their spouse, earn under $42,150 annually, may qualify for the homestead exemption. The homeowner must also have owned the property and permanently resided there for five years, be at least 65 years of age or be totally and permanently disabled, and a North Carolina resident. Exempted taxes are deferred and a lien is placed on the property. The amount of the exemption equals 4 percent of the property owner's income.


Title Holders Only

To qualify for any of the homestead exemption programs under North Carolina law, the applicant must be the homeowner. They must hold equitable legal title, either alone or with a co-owner. The property may be a single-family residence, a unit in a multi-family residential complex or a manufactured home.