They are expensive in relation to areas where home cost much more. The only explanation I have is towns and cities must pay their bills, so they take there budget and divide by the number of home owners and determine a $$ figure per $100 value and back into it. I know it sounds silly. A lot of it has to do with other revenue, from sales tax, businesses etc, generally the more business you have the lower other taxes will be. I moved from the DC area so I understand what you are saying, my Moms house is worth twice mine here but my taxes are higher??... more
1st) Print out tax record from wakegov.com, 2nd) Pull deed of trust and all liens for the property(by name or book/page both are on the tax record) from online book of deeds , 3rd) Go to 12th floor of county courthouse and use 1 of 2 computers to pull special proceeding number(exp. SP 11 6511) by name of owner, 4th) Special proceedings will have a hard copy folder listed by number with the hearing date and occasionally the foreclosure date with the opening bid.
From these you can find all owners with addresses they have ever used, who the lender/mortgage company is, all recorded liens against the property(also when at the courthouse, look up judgements against owners to see if there will be any other issues), relative dates, substitute trustee, and other important info.
I go to the courthouse regularly and can do this for you if you prefer. Each property must handle differently depending on the situation. Email me at email@example.com with your name, phone number, and subject property. Feel free to contact me directly @ 919.896.7131.