North Carolina real property tax on aircraft

My wife and I are preparing to embark on a trip to check out retirement locations in more temperate climates. North Carolina is ranked in the top 10 for their "favorable" tax climate for retirees. I discovered yesterday that the state (or, at least, some counties - like Brunswick) tax practically everything you own including homes, property, cars, trucks, trailers, campers, boats (even the engines are appraised separately) and aircraft. They even want you to declare property that you possess that is owned by someone else. I'm afraid to even ask what Big Brother wants with that information.

So NC doesn't sound very tax friendly to me. Would those of you who live in NC and have experience with this system tell me about your experience with valuation? The tax rate appears to be $0.4580 per $100 of value (the AOPA website says the tax varies from $.59 to $1.41 per $100 of valuation). So that's just under $1100 per year just for owning the plane. Add cars and property taxes and it makes my current state of residence (Pennsylvania) look like a real deal - if you can tolerate the winters and about 60 days of clear skies per year.


  • Most insightful. How about Florida and Texas where there are no income taxes?

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Florida is on the radar but I was surprised at how few GA airports there are in the areas we're looking. An airport map of the Carolina's looks like someone took at shot at the sectional with buckshot. I haven't done an exhaustive search around Sarasota but will do that before we leave next month. Not sure I would fly much down there in the summer heat without AC.

  • I've been down there in the summer. Any flying is at 7am. I love Florida but here I am in Wisconsin, lol. I'm loathe to admit it, but I love Wisconsin. Except January! :) Good luck and let us know how your research comes out.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • I live in Henderson County, NC (near Asheville) and the annual tax on my Six isn’t much - less then $200/year. In NC, the autos are taxed each year by the state but personal property is taxed by the county and each county is different. Buncomb County (Asheville) taxes are much higher.

  • Look in Naples I bought a lot in Wings south airpark and cant wait to start building and get out of Illinois.

  • If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
    If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
    If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
    If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet. George Harrison, 1966

    In Davidson County my ‘68 Cherokee 180 cost $343 this year. I get cold sweats when I think what the guy with the 2015 Mirage in the hangar behind me pays. Yes, its all “property” - houses, boats, campers, dogs, cats - not sure about lions and tigers and bears. You pay property tax on cars every year - after you pay to have it inspected and before they give you the sticker for your license plate - the sticker is paid for separately. Throw in the state income tax, a high gas tax that is adjusted every few years (as the price of gas goes up, the % gas tax INCREASES), and county taxes that vary from county to county. Are you sure we were in the “Friendly” column? Sorry for the rant, but it is April 16th . . .

  • As far as my airplane tax, in Oklahoma it is $10.00 per year based in its weight (its light) and age (its old). The Oklahoma Tax Commission calls it a registration fee.

  • robinsjnc - I posed the question because I need to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. Live in Pennsylvania where everything is financed on the backs of the real estate property owners. Where you have a state income tax that's 2% above mine, I pay own a house that's assessed at $246,000 and pay almost $10,000 a year in real estate and school taxes (most of it in school taxes where they still can't educate the kids). What's worse, those of us who live in the counties where Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are located, get reassessed about every 4-5 years. The remainder of the counties in the state haven't had their real estate reassessed in anywhere from 15-30 years - or more. So "fairness" is a fairy tale.

    My car registration costs me $42/year. But people who own no real estate don't pay any - much less a fair share - to support everything else that is taxpayer supported in the state. So, from my perspective (which is, admittedly, one of ignorance of your tax laws) NC seems like a tax haven. While I don't relish paying $300-400 a year on my Archer, the property tax on a $250,000 home in Southport us 1/10 what I pay in Pennsylvania.

    And, speaking of gasoline tax, Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the country at 58.7 cents/gallon. NC is 6th at 35.4. And my state has worked overtime to earn its reputation. If they could figure out how to tax sex, they would. In 1906 a devastating flood nearly destroyed the city of Johnstown. In 1936, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed an emergency temporary 10% alcohol tax, intended to help with clean up, recovery, and to assist flood victims. In 1963 it was raised to 15% and in 1968 it was raised to 18%. It's never been repealed thanks to the blood sucking unions who support our state monopoly on alcohol sales because they're afraid of "privitization" which practically every other state has. I love it when I travel and can buy a steak and a bottle of wine in a super market.

    So a lot of research remains to be done before my wife and I make a decision. But, trust me, I'm really happy to hear your voice perspective. I just don't want to be counted among those who think the grass is always greener until they have to cut what's on the other side of the fence.

  • aerobuffet - Yes, my property taxes are lower than in the northeast - however, they get their money elsewhere. I would point you to Kiplinger's 2018 ranking of best states to retire: Pennsylvania ranks 14th best and is listed as "Most Tax Friendly" (to retirees). North Carolina ranks 28th and "Not Tax Friendly"- If taxes are a key variable in your decision and you want even lower taxes and similar climate (though obviously no ocean like Southport), I would suggest Tennessee. If North Carolina looks like a tax haven, you may be surprised.

  • edited April 17

    And there are parts of Tennessee which nestle right up against North Carolina, so depending on your desire to be near NC you could get the best of both worlds. Imagine basing your plane at McGhee-Tyson and flying to Mount Airey. :D

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