County Assessor

The County Assessor is charged with the responsibility for the listing, appraisal, and assessment of all property in the county in accordance with provisions of law.

Personal Property

Business personal property includes machinery, equipment, computers, furniture, fixtures, supplies, airplanes, farm machinery, and any other income-producing personal property. The listing must be returned annually and must be submitted by January 31. Extensions may be granted upon written request until March 15 if the request is postmarked by January 31, submitted in duplicate with a stamped, self-addressed envelope included. 

All those who own business personal property on January 1 are required to list. If you listed with this office last year, a listing form will be mailed to you at your address of record. If you do not receive a listing form for property which you are required to list, it is your responsibility to obtain the proper form from the Business Personal Property Section. You may reach us by phone at (828) 287-6184. 

Individual personal property includes boats, boat motors, jet skis, some manufactured homes, aircraft (including hot air balloons, and gliders), and unlicensed vehicles (including automobiles, trucks, utility and over-the-road trailers, campers, and motorcycles). Effective for the tax year beginning on July 1, 2003, residential manufactured homes that do not have the wheels, axles, and hitch removed, and are not on a permanent foundation on the manufactured home owner’s land are considered personal, moveable property and must be individually listed on a listing form each year by the owner. Listings must be returned annually and must be submitted by January 31 to avoid the 10% late listing penalty

All those who own individual personal property on January 1 are required to list. If you listed with this office last year, a listing from will be mailed to you at your address of record. If you do not receive a listing form for property which you are required to list, it is your responsibility to obtain the proper form from the Personal Property Section (828) 287-6000.

All personal property, whether business or individual, including motor vehicles, must be appealed within 30 days of the first notice of value. The tax bill may be the first notice of value. Personal property appeals are directed to the Listing Office at (828) 287-6000.

The value of the vehicle may be appealed to the Listing Office within 30 days of the billing date shown on the bill. A taxpayer who wishes to appeal must pay the bill when due and a refund will be issued if the appellant is successful in their appeal. If after receiving your bill you have a question regarding the value, address, or tax district applied, call the Listing Office at (828) 287-6176. For information regarding payment of motor vehicle taxes refer to the Tax Collection Division. 

Property Exemptions – Every property owner claiming exemptions from property taxes must establish that the property is entitled thereto. Application for exemption must be filed during the listing period with the Listing Office or if the North Carolina Department of Revenue assesses the property, application must be filed with that Department. For further information or to receive an application call the Listing Office at (828) 287-6000.

Real Property

Real Property Assessment - Rutherford County real property is permanently listed. It is not necessary for you to file a listing with the county assessor unless 1) improvements, new construction, demolition, or removal of buildings was done to your real property during the prior year, 2) you currently receive the present use deferment but no longer qualify under the provisions of the program, 3) you currently receive the elderly/disabled exclusion. Ownership of real property is established as of January 1st of the tax year. Transfer of ownership during the year does not relieve the seller of tax liability.

The assessed value, property description, and description of improvements of real property may be obtained in the form of the property record card from the County Assessor’s Office. Rutherford County’s most recent reappraisal became effective on January 1, 2019. Changes in assessed value between reappraisals are made to reflect changes made to the property such as: new construction, demolitions, remodeling, changes in zoning, or to correct clerical errors and misapplication of the schedule of values. Assessed values should reflect “fair market value” as of January 1 of the last reappraisal. If you feel the assessed value of your property is incorrect you may file an informal appeal with the Assessor's Office. If this does not effect a satisfactory result, you may appeal to the Rutherford County Board of Equalization and Review. All appeals must be received prior to the adjournment of the Board. Adjournment dates vary and are advertised prior to the first meeting each year. You may obtain an appeal form by making written request to the Rutherford County Assessor’s Office, 125 W 3rd Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139.

Real Property Reappraisal – North Carolina General Statutes require that all counties conduct a reappraisal of real property at least every eight years. Due to the rapid changes taking place in the local real estate market, the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners has elected to authorize a more frequent reappraisal cycle to reduce the amount of inequity that occurs due to certain areas and property types increasing in value faster than others.  

During the reappraisal process the Appraisal Section develops a uniform schedule of values by analyzing cost, sales, and income data. This schedule of values is then adopted by the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners. The purpose of the uniform schedule of values is to insure equity in valuations. Each appraiser has responsibility for a certain area of the county and the neighborhoods therein. During the reappraisal process the appraisal staff reviews recent sales of real property. As a result of reappraisal, property values change at different rates to reflect the market trends within their neighborhood and property type.

It would be simple for the Appraisal Section to appraise all recent sales at their sales price. However, this would not be equitable or accurate because not all sales are “arm’s-length” transactions. Sales between family members, related corporations, sales that are gifts, or sales involving trades do not always reflect market value. The needs and compulsions of the buyers and sellers may also influence sales prices. For example, a property may sell for higher than market value because an organization negotiates a price for property not currently being marketed, a person moves from an area of higher market values and buys without fully investigating the market, etc. The application of a schedule of values will not exactly match every sales price, however, it will insure that similar properties are assessed equitably.

The next county-wide reappraisal is scheduled to become effective January 1, 2023.

Present Use Valuation – The present use value (PUV) program (sometimes known as "farm use") is a state mandated program designed to give relief to specific landowners for property that is being used for the production of agricultural, horticultural or forestry products. To qualify there are ownership, minimum acreage, income, and sound management requirements. PUV is a deferment, not an exemption. If the property is removed from the program, taxes plus interest on the difference between the use value and the market value will become due for the current year and the three prior years. For more information on this program contact the Appraisal Section at (828) 287-6219.