The property tax is the single largest source of revenue for American local governments. Cities and counties across the nation raise roughly $500 billion per year in property taxes, accounting for 72% of local taxes and 47% of locally raised revenue. Whether residents rent or own, property taxes directly or indirectly impact almost everyone.

In Raleigh and Wake County, however, property taxes are inequitable; low-value properties face higher tax assessments, relative to their actual sale price, than do high-value properties, resulting in regressive taxation that burdens low-income residents disproportionately. In particular, African American homeowners in neighborhoods that have been historically segregated, undervalued, and underinvested, are disproportionately impacted by the skyrocketing property taxes in our county. 

ONE Wake proposes a solution to this issue: the creation of a new property tax relief program to address the displacement of long time, low income homeowners due to rising property taxes in Raleigh and across Wake County. Our proposal is to do this through a new property tax relief program that is similar to programs that have recently been passed in Durham and Mecklenburg. We are specifically interested in targeting homeowners who have owned their homes for at least 10 years, who earn up to 80% of the area median income, and who are currently paying more than 4% of household income on property taxes.

Housing prices continue to rise dramatically in Wake County — Redfin estimates that prices have increased by 22% in the last year. The next real estate appraisal in the County, scheduled to go into effect on January 1st, 2024 based on Wake County’s 4-year appraisal cycle, will very likely reflect this rise in housing values and a corresponding increase in the amount of property tax that homeowners will have to pay. Property tax relief programs beyond what is currently available will be crucial to ensure that rising housing values and corresponding tax increases do not lead to displacement and financial strain for low-income homeowners. The cost of providing relief to low-income homeowners is very likely to be at least partially offset by the increase in property tax revenue generated by increasing home values.

Recent Media Coverage of this Campaign

WRAL On the Record: Gentrification, Housing, and the State of NC's Economy

Indyweek: Raleigh Residents Keep the Pressure on for Property Tax Relief

CBS-17: Wake County Holding Meeting About Unaffordable Property Taxes

Indyweek: Wake County Commissioners Talk Property Tax Relief

News and Observer: Time to Help Those Left Out for Too Long

Resources

Video Testimony from Rochester Heights Leaders

Updated Property Tax Handout (v. 10/1/21)

Recent News Articles About Gentrification and Displacement

Soaring NC Housing Prices Erase Black Neighborhoods

What Exactly is Gentrification and How do Neighborhoods Become Susceptible?

In Some East Raleigh Neighborhoods, Tax Bills are about to Shoot Through the Roof