Revaluation appeals aren’t rolling in
By Karissa Minn
When he got his revaluation notice earlier this month, Clyde Motley was baffled.
According to Rowan County, the value of his house and 2.4 acres of land on Cox Road fell 21 percent ó from $121,000 in 2007 to $96,000 in 2011.
ěI just canít understand how a piece of property can drop that much,î Motley said. ěEverybody I saw around me has had a pretty bad drop.î
Motley said he submitted an informal appeal to the county. Other property owners who disagree with their new values have until Tuesday to do the same.
Barbara McGuire, real and personal property manager with the tax assessorís office, said the county had received 1,300 appeals from March 1 through Thursday. Officials had projected 10,000 to 12,000 appeals.
ěI was expecting more, but weíve got until the board adjourns,î McGuire said.
Whether or not property owners go through the informal appeals process, they can appeal formally to the Rowan County Board of Equalization and Review. The board will convene on April 4 and continue hearings for at least two months.
If they still arenít satisfied after the boardís decision, property owners will then have 30 days to appeal to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission.
McGuire said most of the appeals received since notices went out March 1 have requested a lower value. A growing number, though, are reacting like Motley.
ěWeíve actually had more people than ever before say they think their value is higher than what we estimated it to be,î McGuire said. ěIn the past, we would have a handful.î
Rowan County Commissioners are considering raising the property tax rate this year to make up for an overall decline in the countyís tax base.
Motley said he knows a lower assessed value results in a lower tax bill, but if he decides to sell the house, he could get less for it than what he thinks the property is worth.
He said a bank appraised his property one year ago at a market value of $132,000. He included that information when he appealed the countyís assessed value.
ěIíve called before because I thought it was high, but I got used to that amount,î Motley said. ěThey said, ëYouíve got prime land right next to Dan Nicholas Park.í î
While the Dan Nicholas Park property value stayed steady in the revaluation, Motleyís took a plunge.
Motley also says he doesnít understand the assessed values of two additional parcels he owns. A 0.6-acre parcel went up from $12,500 to $12,900. Next to it, a parcel with four goats on a half acre of land stayed the same at $5,900.
ěIf I wanted my house to hold value, I guess I needed to put goats on it,î Motley said.
McGuire encourages property owners to include as much supporting information as possible in their appeals.
That information can include a complete appraisal report from within the past two years, a recent sale listing with asking price or a list of addresses of nearby homes that the property owner thinks are similar in value.
It also can help to tell the county if there have been foreclosures in the area or if the property is in a floodplain or substandard in some way.
The informal appeal form is attached to the bottom of each revaluation notice that went out March 1. It also is available on the county website, www.rowancountync. gov.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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