...said they want an independent review of the 2011 property revaluation,
saying it could help bring answers to lingering concerns about the appraisal.
...The board also asked for estimates on the price for a new revaluation in 2014 or 2015,
though commissioners stopped short of ordering an appraisal by a specific date.
...The vote comes after months of growing criticism about the accuracy of last year’s revaluation,
the county’s first since 2003.
Residents had questioned, among other things, how the county set land values
and how it factored in the effect of foreclosures and still-falling home sales.
...The type of independent review the commissioners approved
...is believed to be unprecedented in the state.
[County Manager] Jones said there has been no statistical evidence
to show the revaluation was not conducted in accordance with state law or other guidelines.
...“Why are there so many people so upset about their revaluation
if there isn’t something wrong?” Pendergraph said.
“There’s just too much smoke not to have some fire somewhere.”
...Before commissioners began their debate, they heard from 17 speakers
– nearly all in favor of an outside review of the revaluation.
They spoke before a packed chamber,
with some in the audience carrying signs that said “Fix It.”
Independent firm expected to review Mecklenburg revaluation process
"The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners voted 6 to 3
to have an independent firm review the 2011 property revaluation process.
Homeowners packed the Mecklenburg County government center Tuesday night.
...The independent firm will review the process,
to make sure no laws were broken in the 2011 revaluation.
Two weeks ago commissioners told residents
that the power lies with the state legislature and the tax assessor's office.
...Homeowners have argued for months that they paid too much
for faulty property evaluations by the Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor's Office.
...A county spokesman says there are still thousands of appeals outstanding."
Commissioners Want Outside Auditor For Revaluation
"The staff is saying it's all OK, but it's not OK,"
said former Cornelius Town Commissioner Jim Bensman.
He and a group of residents say they have documented how the county tax assessor's office
violated several state statutes in its latest revaluation.
..."They've refused to provide information to the homeowners who need in order to appeal."
Property owners complain about having to appeal the 2011 revaluations
that they say were appraised either too high...
..."Until you understand what the issues are," said Bensman,
"you can't begin to fix them."
Commissioners Call For Revaluation Audit
Commissioner Karen Bentley is one of the commissioners calling for the audit.
She’s been flooded with complaints from upset homeowners.
They say not only that their property was valued too high,
but that the appeals process was also flawed.
...Emily Zuyus, a Myers Park homeowner,
argues that the county’s false information kept property owners from appealing.
“And I feel confident that an audit will show that the process just didn’t work,” she says.
...She believes her property is overvalued, especially the lot her house is on.
It jumped from $936,800 to almost $1.2 million,
increasing her property taxes by close to $3,000.
...The proposal sets aside $50,000 for the audit
and also calls for another mass appraisal in 2014.
“No change,” said Cornelius resident Paul McMellon...
That’s a phrase he didn't want to see
after he appealed a revaluation on two pieces of property.
“No change in value.
That's the lot right here,” he said.
“It went from $20,000 to $47,500.”
He said it was a similar story for his other property on Main Street.
"I don't know if abuse is the right word,
but there are clearly some things that are almost impossible to explain,"...
"...a lot of concerns are clumped in Cornelius,
where some waterfront land has skyrocketed.
...Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte...says the current process
is not establishing true market value for homeowners.
Another problem, he says, is this:
"It's a little bit backwards that the burden of proof is on the property owner
to prove that the value isn't set correctly by the tax assessor's office.
So they end up then hiring professionals or certified appraisers to value their property,
and then depending on technicalities,
often times that information is not being accepted by the tax assessor's office."
...property owners feel like they're in the dark.
"If their appeal was rejected,
county officials must give a detailed explanation," Tarte says.
"I don't know one person who's had that information shared.
They're just told no, sorry."