Why are the taxes so high? In Atlanta, you get much more house, taxes are less expensive and you also get a basement. Can you speak to that?

Asked by Karen, Thu Dec 13, 2012

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Nunya, Home Buyer, Durham, NC
Fri Jan 25, 2013
I know exactly what you mean. We moved from an area that's considered "high tax" and Durham seems a bit higher than that to me. For what we owned before we'd be paying about $1,500 more in taxes per year here than we did there! On top of that, the houses here generally aren't as nice as we're used to until you get over $500K. So, you have to pay more for a decent house, and then you get to pay about 25% more in property taxes. But hey, look on the bright side: at least your salary here will be lower!
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Fri Dec 14, 2012
I live in Durham but know Atlanta fairly well and I doubt you're comparing apples to apples.

Durham's tax rate is roughly $1.40 per thousand so taxes on the new construction your asking about will likely be in the range of $2300 annually. Property tax rates are set using the following formula regardless of where you live. Municipal budget divided by the total of all taxable property with in the municipality. (Known as the Grand List.

Atlanta is a city that is considerably larger than Durham perhaps 6-10 times as large so there's more properties sharing the tax burden. There's also considerably more traffic etc.
Basements aren't common here in Durham because our soils are clay and when you do have a basement you typically have issues with moisture. The only homes with basements are found on sloping lots.

My wife is originally from Atalanta and we have friends there, depending on where you live prices in Atlanta are comparable to ours I'm sure there some less expensive areas just as there are more expensive areas. Having lived many places I long ago learned there's no point in comparing one state's real estate prices to another's. Things cost way more in DC, New York and California than they do in the Midwest for example.
0 votes
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.
Flag Fri Dec 14, 2012
Deborah Mill…, Agent, Durham, NC
Thu Dec 13, 2012
I can not say what the over all budget and needs and funding is for Durham City compared to Atlanta. But I can tell you that you may want to look at Granville, Alamance, Person counties which have lower taxes which does impact your escrows and overall house payment and budget. You might also want to look at foreclosures where you can get the house for less money and have more equity which can serve to balance out the higher property taxes. If I can help you further I work in all of these counties and with foreclosures purchases and rehab homes, please let me know.

Deborah Rigsbee Miller, Real Estate Broker, SFR
Coldwell Banker HPW 919-491-2826
0 votes
, ,
Thu Dec 13, 2012
Our tax rates are more like the tax rates that are seen in the northeast. For every 100,000 you spend on a property, you can expect to pay anywhere from $700 to close to $2,000 in taxes. This particular property located in Durham, has one of the more affordable tax rates, somewhere in the middle of this range. Durham also has a balanced budget and very good community services. In addition to school taxes, the tax revenue goes toward our beautiful parks, local government, etc.

If you want the pay less tax, you should consider a property that is located outside the city limit, where you will pay only county tax, and will be exempt from the city taxes. You could also consider moving to a rural county, such as Chatham or Johnston, which will have the lowest tax rates available.
0 votes
Moving to a rural area cannot happen for me. The reason I was asking is even in the northeast we have basements. I haven't found one home is Durham or Raleigh with a finished basement (or a basement) at all. I just started looking in Charlotte and was more successful.
Flag Thu Dec 13, 2012
Earl McDonald, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Thu Dec 13, 2012
Are you asking why the taxes are so high in downtown Atlanta and lower outside the perimeter?
0 votes
No, why the taxes are so much higher in Durham than Atlanta (and you get so much more home in GA).
Flag Thu Dec 13, 2012
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