Short-Term Rentals

Note: Short-term rental taxes are processed by the NHC Finance Department. For questions, please email jberardi@nhcgov.com or call (910)798-7113.

Every operator of a business or individual furnishing a taxable accommodation in New Hanover County such as a hotel, motel, inn, room rental, tourist camp or other short-term rental, is subject to charging a Room Occupancy Tax in accordance with North Carolina General Statute §153A-155 and §160A-215. Below are the applicable rates by jurisdiction:

  • New Hanover County – Effective September 1, 2006 – 6%
  • City of Wilmington – Effective March 1, 2003 – 6%
  • Town of Wrightsville Beach – Effective February 1, 2003 – 6%
  • Town of Carolina Beach – Effective February 2, 2003 – 6%
  • Town of Kure Beach – Effective July 1, 2004 – 6%
  • Wilmington Convention Center District – Effective September 1, 2006 – 6%

All hotels, motels, inns, short-term rental cottages or houses, tourist camps, or any other short-term rental accommodations must report their monthly sales using the Room Occupancy Tax Report form. Reports must be submitted to the Tax Department by the 20th day after the reporting month. Reports not submitted in a timely fashion are subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Download Room Occupancy Tax Report form »

Room Occupancy Tax Report forms can also be obtained by contacting the Tax Department at (910) 798-7113.

New Hanover County
The first 3% collected will be distributed with 60% for beach nourishment. The remaining 40% is to be used by the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to promote travel and tourism throughout New Hanover County. These funds shall not be used to plan, construct, operate, maintain, or in any way promote a civic center, convention center, public auditorium or similar facility. The additional 3% collected in the unincorporated area will be distributed to the TDA to promote travel and tourism in the unincorporated area, and to help fund the cost of dredging the county’s inlets and connecting channels  if a county inlet loses federal funding. These inlets include Carolina Beach Inlet, Mason Inlet, and Masonboro Inlet.


City of Wilmington (outside the Convention Center District)
The first 3% collected will be distributed at 60% for beach nourishment and the remaining 40% is to be used by the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to promote travel and tourism throughout New Hanover County. These funds shall not be used to plan, construct, operate, or maintain a civic center, convention center public auditorium or like facility. The additional 3% collected will be used exclusively for the convention center.

Wilmington Convention Center District
The entire 6% collected is now distributed to the Convention Center.


Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach
The first 3% collected will be distributed at 60% for beach nourishment and the remaining 40% is to be used by the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to promote travel and tourism throughout New Hanover County and shall not be used to plan, construct, operate, maintain or in any way promote a civic center, convention center, public auditorium or like facility. The additional 3% collected in each individual beach community is dedicated to establishing two funds each to be used exclusively for that beach; at least one-half of the tax collected is to be used to promote travel and tourism and the other fund is for TDA approved tourism related expenditures that are designed to increase the use of lodging facilities, meeting facilities or convention facilities or to attract tourists or business travelers to the area and includes tourism-related capital expenditures as approved by the TDA Board of Directors.

Effective January 1, 2009, North Carolina General Statutes (105-275(42), 153A-156.1, 160A-215.2)
designated heavy equipment on which a gross receipts tax may be imposed a special class of property. The classification refers to heavy equipment that is offered at retail for short-term lease or rental and is owned or leased by a person (company) engaged in the business of leasing or renting heavy equipment to the general public.

A tax is imposed and levied in an amount equal to one and two tenths percent (1.2%) of the gross receipts derived from the short-term lease or rental of heavy equipment at retail for businesses located in New Hanover County and an additional eight tenths percent (.8%) if the business is also located inside the city limits of Wilmington.


A Heavy Equipment Tax Application must be submitted to establish an account number for tax reporting purposes.

Mail completed application to:
New Hanover County Finance
230 Government Center Drive, Suite 165 B-12
Wilmington, NC 28403

For assistance completing an application or for questions regarding the Heavy Equipment Tax please email jberardi@nhcgov.com or call (910)798-7113.


How does a business qualify?
To qualify as a principal business of short-term lease or rental, more than 50% of the company’s income must be derived from the rental of qualified heavy equipment. For example, if the total company receipts from all sources are $1,000,000 and the receipts from the rental of qualified heavy equipment are $450,000, the business would not qualify.


The following are considered qualified heavy equipment:
Earthmoving, construction, or industrial equipment that is mobile, weighs at least 1,500 pounds, and meets any of the descriptions listed below. The term includes an attachment for heavy equipment, regardless of the weight of the attachment.

  • It is a self-propelled vehicle that is not designed to be driven on a highway.
  • It is industrial lift equipment, industrial material-handling equipment, industrial electrical-generation equipment, or a similar piece of industrial equipment.

A tax is imposed and levied in an amount equal to one and five tenth percent (1.5%) of the gross receipts derived from the short-term lease or rental of vehicles at retail to the general public for businesses located within New Hanover County, and an additional one and five tenths percent (1.5%) of the gross receipts if the business is located within the city limits of Wilmington.


Retailers must complete a Rental Vehicle Tax Application to establish an account number for tax reporting purposes.

Mail completed application to:
New Hanover County Finance
230 Government Center Drive, Suite 165 B-12
Wilmington, NC 28403

For assistance completing an application or for questions regarding the Rental Vehicle Tax please email jberardi@nhcgov.com or call (910)798-7113.


Short-Term Lease or Rental
This applies to a lease or rental that is made under a written agreement to lease or rent property to the same person for a period of less than 365 continuous days.

The following are considered rental vehicles:

  • A motor vehicle of the private passenger type, including a passenger van, mini-van, sports utility, or recreational vehicle.
  • A motor vehicle of the cargo type, including a cargo van, pickup truck, or truck with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less used predominately in the transportation of property for other than commercial freight and does not require the operator to possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
  • A trailer or semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight of 6,000 pounds or less.

 

Tax: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 190 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7300 • Fax 910-798-7310 • Email taxadmin@nhcgov.com