County Budget, Tax, & Finance Information

Risk Management Servies

Survey of Anticipated Pay Changes

In April 2023, NCACC was pleased to partner with the North Carolina League of Municipalities to survey local governments about their planned salary changes for FY 2023-24. 266 local governments responded to the survey, including 46 counties. NCACC thanks all local governments who responded to the survey. We appreciate your time in helping to make this the most useful and timely report possible for you and your peers.

Risk Management Servies

Budget and Tax Survey

NCACC conducts the Budget and Tax Survey each year to gather financial information on county budgeted expenditures and tax resources, including in-depth information on school appropriations. Please note that these are self-reported data, and do not reflect audited expenditures, revenues, or other county information.

The FY 2021-2023 two-year Budget and Tax Survey responses are now available, although not complete. Several counties continue to work on their responses and the data on this page will be updated periodically as additional responses become available. NEW: The data was last updated June 21, 2023.

Risk Management Servies

Property Taxes

Property taxes are the largest source of revenue for North Carolina counties. North Carolina General Statute Chapter 159 requires county commissioners to annually set a property tax rate — for information on rates from all 100 counties, click the button below.

Tax Rate Survey

As County Commissioners pass their budgets and set property tax rates prior to the start of a new fiscal year, the NCACC collects the tax rates set by all 100 counties. In addition to the tax rate, the Tax Rate Survey includes the revenue neutral tax rate (if the county underwent a revaluation) and state maps to display rates by county.

These figures include base tax rates plus any countywide applied special rates. Revenue neutral rates are also reported.

Fifteen counties had a tax rate change in 2020-21, with four counties increasing and eleven counties decreasing their rate. Twenty-six counties had a revaluation in 2019, and 12 counties have one in 2020.

The average property tax rate is now .6760, compared to .6785 last year, a 0.35% decrease statewide.

  • County Property Tax Rates
    County2020-21 Property Tax Rate2019-20 Property Tax Rate
    Alamance County0.670.67
    Alexander County0.790.79
    Alleghany County0.5970.597
    Anson County0.7770.777
    Ashe County0.4430.443
    Avery County0.550.55
    Beaufort County0.6350.635
    Bertie County0.8650.865
    Bladen County0.820.82
    Brunswick County0.4850.485
    Buncombe County0.5290.529
    Burke County0.6950.695
    Cabarrus County0.740.74
    Caldwell County0.630.63
    Camden County0.740.74
    Carteret County0.330.31
    Caswell County0.7350.735
    Catawba County0.5750.575
    Chatham County0.670.67
    Cherokee County0.460.52
    Chowan County0.7550.755
    Clay County0.430.43
    Cleveland County0.720.72
    Columbus County0.8050.805
    Craven County0.54940.5494
    Cumberland County0.7990.799
    Currituck County0.480.48
    Dare County0.40050.47
    Davidson County0.540.54
    Davie County0.7380.738
    Duplin County0.7350.735
    Durham County0.71220.7122
    Edgecombe County0.950.95
    Forsyth County0.74350.7535
    Franklin County0.8050.805
    Gaston County0.830.84
    Gates County0.790.79
    Graham County0.650.65
    Granville County0.840.84
    Greene County0.7860.786
    Guilford County0.73050.7305
    Halifax County0.760.77
    Harnett County0.750.75
    Haywood County0.5850.585
    Henderson County0.5610.561
    Hertford County0.840.84
    Hoke County0.750.75
    Hyde County0.770.77
    Iredell County0.53750.5275
    Jackson County0.380.38
    Johnston County0.760.76
    Jones County0.770.79
    Lee County0.7750.775
    Lenoir County0.8450.845
    Lincoln County0.5990.599
    Macon County0.37470.3747
    Madison County0.50.55
    Martin County0.810.81
    McDowell County0.58750.5875
    Mecklenburg County0.61690.6169
    Mitchell County0.580.58
    Montgomery County.62*0.62
    Moore County0.510.51
    Nash County0.670.67
    New Hanover County0.5550.555
    Northampton County0.910.915
    Onslow County0.7050.705
    Orange County0.86790.8679
    Pamlico County0.6250.625
    Pasquotank County0.770.77
    Pender County0.6450.645
    Perquimans County0.590.59
    Person County0.720.73
    Pitt County0.67970.721
    Polk County0.54940.5494
    Randolph County0.63270.6327
    Richmond County0.830.83
    Robeson County0.770.77
    Rockingham County0.6950.695
    Rowan County0.65750.6575
    Rutherford County0.5970.597
    Sampson County0.8250.825
    Scotland County11
    Stanly County0.670.67
    Stokes County0.660.66
    Surry County0.5820.582
    Swain County0.360.36
    Transylvania County0.6360.636
    Tyrrell County0.940.88
    Union County0.73090.7309
    Vance County0.890.89
    Wake County0.60.7207
    Warren County0.810.79
    Washington County0.8550.855
    Watauga County0.4030.403
    Wayne County0.66350.6635
    Wilkes County0.660.66
    Wilson County0.730.73
    Yadkin County0.660.66
    Yancey County0.60.6

Risk Management Servies

Sales Taxes

Sales taxes are the second largest revenue source for North Carolina counties, making up approximately 14% of county General Fund revenue. Counties set their own sales tax rates with voter approval, but the state collects and redistributes local sales tax dollars. NCACC staff are available to guide counties on sales tax referenda, revenue projections, and other sales tax issues.

  • Sales Tax Articles and Rates

    North Carolina has a 4.75% state sales tax rate. In addition, counties are authorized by North Carolina General Statute Chapter 105, Articles 39-46 to levy up to 5 sales taxes, with rates that range from 0.25% to 1%.

    ArticleRateDistributionRestrictionsShared with TownsCounties LevyingNotes
    Article 391% (1¢)Point of SaleN/AYes100 CountiesArticle 39, 40, and 42 together are commonly referred to as "The First 2¢"
    Article 400.5% (1/2¢)Per CapitaCounties must use 30% on school capita.Yes100 CountiesArticle 39, 40, and 42 together are commonly referred to as "The First 2¢"
    Article 420.5% (1/2¢)Point of SaleCounties must use 60% on school capita.Yes100 CountiesArticle 39, 40, and 42 together are commonly referred to as "The First 2¢"
    Article 430.25% (1/4¢) or 0.5% (1/2¢)Point of Sale100% to transit.Yes, if a city runs a transit system.4 CountiesRate is 0.5% for Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Orange, and Wake Counties (0.25% in all other counties).
    Article 460.25% (1/4¢)Point of SaleN/ANo46 Counties

    All 100 counties levy the first 3 sales taxes, usually called “the First 2¢.” In addition, nearly 50 counties levy at least one of the two additional taxes:

    Tax RateCounties (As of January 1, 2023)
    4.75% State; 2.00% First 2¢
    Alamance, Alleghany, Avery, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Burke, Caldwell, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Chowan, Cleveland, Columbus, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Davie, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Guilford, Henderson, Hoke, Hyde, Iredell, Johnston, Lenoir, Macon, McDowell, Mitchell, Nash, Northampton, Pamlico, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Polk, Richmond, Scotland, Stokes, Transylvania, Tyrrell, Union, Vance, Warren, Washington, Watauga, Wayne, Wilson, Yadkin, Yancey
    4.75% State; 2.00% First 2¢; 0.25% Article 46
    Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Bertie, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Catawba, Chatham, Cherokee, Clay, Cumberland, Davidson, Duplin, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Gaston, Graham, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Haywood, Hertford, Jackson, Jones, Lee, Lincoln, Madison, Martin, Montgomery, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pitt, Randolph, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Sampson, Stanly, Surry, Swain, Wilkes
    4.75% State; 2.00% First 2¢; 0.50% Article 43
    Mecklenburg, Wake
    4.75% State; 2.00% First 2¢; 0.50% Article 43; 0.25% Article 46
    Durham, Orange
Local Sales Tax Referenda

To levy either the Article 43 Transit Sales Tax or the Article 46 Optional Quarter Cent Sales Tax, a county Board of Commissioners must receive voter permission by holding a referendum. NCACC is available to guide counties on the referendum process. In addition, the section below provides an FAQ on the local option sales tax, a sample Board of Commissioners resolution, and historical referenda results from across the state.

Risk Management Servies

Occupancy Taxes

Most counties levy an occupancy tax on rental accommodations, such as hotel rooms and vacation rentals. Although the General Statutes broadly outline occupancy tax guidelines (G.S. 153A-155), they do not authorize the tax. Instead, each county must first receive explicit taxing authority from the General Assembly. Occupancy tax collections are remitted to the local government; usually, the authorizing legislation requires the county to establish a Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to manage and allocate most or all of the tax proceeds.

Contact Information

For more information about NCACC’s budget, tax, and finance information or for help, please contact Fiscal and Policy Research Director Denise Canada at (919) 715-0045.