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Need help paying your property taxes? Here are three programs offering some relief.

10 percent property tax increase? Where will the increase go?

The Wake County Board of Commissioners will consider County Manager David Ellis’ proposed $1.47B budget for the fiscal year. The proposed budget includes a 9.7% property tax increase and more money for Wake County Public School Systems.
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The Wake County Board of Commissioners will consider County Manager David Ellis’ proposed $1.47B budget for the fiscal year. The proposed budget includes a 9.7% property tax increase and more money for Wake County Public School Systems.

This story has been updated to reflect 2019 requirements.

North Carolinians living in some of the state’s largest counties could see an increase to their local property tax rate.

Budgets proposed in Wake, Mecklenburg, Durham and Orange counties have all included a property-tax increase, which could mean higher property-tax bills for area residents.

The state offers three programs for people looking for property tax relief, though the pool of potential applicants is narrow. Here’s a look at all three programs, including who qualifies and how to apply.

But hurry, the deadline for all three programs is June 1.

Elderly or Disabled Exclusion

Qualifications: Applicants must be over the age of 65 or totally and permanently disabled. The total income for both an applicant and spouse cannot exceed $30,200. Unmarried joint property owners must each apply separately, and benefits may apply based on the percent each person owns.

What it does: The program offers a tax break of $25,000 or 50 percent of the home’s appraised value, whichever is greater.

Once approved for this program applicants don’t have to reapply each year unless they move, their income changes or they are no longer disabled. Applicants may only receive either the elderly or disabled exclusion or the disabled veteran exclusion.

Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program

Qualifications: Applicants must be over the age of 65 or totally and permanently disabled. The total income for both an applicant and spouse cannot exceed $45,300. Unmarried joint property owners must each apply separately, and benefits may apply based on the percent each person owns. Each property owner must have owned and occupied the home for the previous five years.

What it does: People making up to $29,600 would pay 4% of their income, while those making between $29,601 and $44,400 would pay 5% of their income. Taxes above the limit are deferred until a future date. The last three years’ worth of deferred taxes are paid with interest if the owner dies, the property is transferred to a non-qualifying owner or the property is no longer the owner’s permanent residence.

Applicants must apply each year.

Disabled Veteran Exclusion

Qualifications: The applicant must be a veteran discharged under honorable conditions who has a total or permanent disability that is service-connected or their unmarried surviving spouse. There is no age or income limitation on this program.

What it does: It excludes up to $45,000 of the appraised value of the home.

You may only receive either the elderly or disabled exclusion or the disabled veteran exclusion.

How to apply:

To request an application, people should contact their local revenue departments. Here are some of the phone numbers and websites for the most populous counties. The deadline is June 1, 2019.

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