Go to Retiree Tax Map North Carolina Add to State Compare List | View List View State Compare List (0) selected | Compare up to 5 The Bottom Line Mixed Tax Picture The Tar Heel State has switched from graduated income tax brackets to a flat tax and eliminated a number of breaks for retiree income.Homeowners 65 and older can choose from multiple property-tax relief programs: The Elderly Exclusion excludes the first $25,000 or 50% of the home’s appraised value plus the value of up to 1.0 acre of land, whichever is greater, from taxation. The Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program limits property taxes due in a given year to a percentage of the owner’s income; the balance is deferred. Residents have to choose between the two, and income limits apply.While the state doesn’t tax groceries, localities do. State Sales Tax 4.75% state levy. Localities can add as much as 2.75%, and the average combined rate is 6.95%, according to the Tax Foundation. Groceries are not taxed by the state, but a 2% local tax is levied. Income Tax Range North Carolina has a flat tax. The 2018 rate is 5.49%; the 2019 rate is 5.25%. Effective tax rate: 5.49% for single filers, 5.49% for joint filers Social Security Benefits are not taxed. Exemptions for Other Retirement Income Income from federal government, designated North Carolina state and local government, and military retirement plans is exempt if the retiree had five or more years of creditable service as of August 12, 1989. This exemption is known as the “Bailey exemption.”Railroad Retirement benefits are also exempt. Property Taxes In North Carolina, residents pay an average of $894 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed home value.Tax breaks for seniors: To qualify for the Elderly or Disabled Exclusion, a homeowner must be at least 65 years old or totally and permanently disabled, with income of no more than $29,600 for 2018. The program excludes the first $25,000 or 50% of the home’s appraised value plus the value of up to 1.0 acre of land, whichever is greater, from taxation. The state’s Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program limits property taxes to 4% of an owner’s income for those 65 years and older who make less than $29,600 a year for 2018. For those making between $29,601 and $44,000 for 2018, property taxes are limited to 5% of their income. Taxes over the limitation amount are deferred and remain a lien on the property. Homeowners must choose between the programs. Vehicle Taxes Registration: 3% tax due when title is transferred, revenue from this tax is specifically allocated to maintenance of North Carolina highways. Property tax: Annual, determined by multiplying the combined county and municipal/district tax rate by the county tax appraisal of the vehicle. Example: In Wake County (Raleigh), a vehicle worth $20,000 would be taxed about $252 each year. Inheritance and Estate Taxes None.