Property taxes can threaten seniors’ ability to age in place

By Stephanie Talbott

Pittsboro, NC – Property taxes are a concern for most everyone, and this especially becomes problematic for seniors on fixed incomes. The ever-increasing property taxes could eventually force some people out of their homes, preventing them from aging in place.

photo by prostooleh on Freepik

For those eligible, there are some measures to offer property tax relief:  North Carolina Property Tax Exemptions.

“A set of North Carolina homestead exemption rules provide property tax relief to seniors and people with disabilities. If you are totally and permanently disabled or age 65 and over, and you make below an income limit of $30,200, you can exempt from property tax half of your home’s assessed value or $25,000, whichever is greater. The income limit often increases from year to year.

If you are a disabled military veteran in North Carolina, regardless of your age or income, you may also be eligible for a separate program that excludes the first $45,000 in assessed value of your home from property tax. You must have a total and permanent service-related disability or have received benefits for specially adapted housing, received an honorable discharge or left the military under honorable conditions. Surviving spouses of such veterans, and of veterans or service members who died due to service-related conditions, are also eligible for the benefit if they haven’t remarried.

Another, separate program, known as a circuit breaker property tax deferment, allows seniors and disabled people to limit the portion of their income spent on property tax. For eligible people making under $30,200, that limit is four percent of their income. For those making $45,300 or less and meeting the age or disability requirements, that limit is five percent of their income.

Unlike the disabled veteran, senior citizen and other North Carolina benefits for housing, the tax isn’t erased entirely. Instead, it becomes a lien on the property that comes due if the property is transferred, the owner passes away or the owner ceases to use the property as his or her primary residence. The income limit tends to increase from year to year.” [

Since I can’t find a date for this information, the income limits have possibly changed.