County Preparing For 2021 Property Value Revaluation

County Preparing For 2021 Property Value Revaluation

County Preparing For 2021 Property Value Revaluation Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 16 September 2020 03:11

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY -  North Carolina law requires each county to conduct a revaluation at least once every eight years. The last revaluation in New Hanover County went into effect in 2017 and now occurs every four years. The revaluation process ensures that property values are up to date with the current market and ultimately determines property owner's tax bills.
The New Hanover County Tax Department is currently working on the 2021 Tax Revaluation for all properties in the county. Residential and commercial property value notices will be mailed to residential and commercial real property owners in early 2021. A specific date is to be determined.
According to the Tax Department, "The primary purpose of a revaluation program is to fairly reflect the value of all property in the county.
A revaluation provides equalization among all property owners, as well as among all classes of property across the county. North Carolina law requires each county to conduct a revaluation at least once every eight years. New Hanover County has implemented a four-year plan for its revaluation programs to better reflect changes in market conditions that exist in the county. This process will help ensure that taxpayers are paying appropriate taxes for property, based on the changing property values that occur during periods of growth or economic downturn. The revaluation program is not intended to increase revenue for the county. It is in place to ensure that each property owner pays their fair share of the cost of services rendered by local government, based on the value of their property.'
The revaluation’s purpose is to fairly reflect the value of all property and to help ensure that property owners pay equitable tax based on the value of their property. The new values become effective on January 1, 2021.
The county’s preliminary tax base as of January 1, 2017, before any appeals had been made, was $32.9 billion, compared to $30.94 billion in January 2016 - which was a 6.3 percent increase. Each individual property’s value may have increased, decreased or remained unchanged in the revaluation.
Property Appraisers from the Tax Department will visit each commercial and residential property within the County and photograph properties, educated citizens, take measurements, and evaluate improvements or deterioration to the property.
According to the Tax Department, "The appraisers currently review and assess over 108,000 parcels and use proven methods for analyzing comparable properties and other factors affecting property value. Each property is appraised using the same method, applied uniformly across the county."
The Tax Department has made available online, Property Tax Questionnaires and Sales Verification forms for citizens to fill out to better assist us confirming their property and/ or sales information. The purpose of these forms are to verify sales information along with square footage, number of rooms and bathrooms, and other important details. All of the completed forms and questionnaires are reviewed by staff, and follow-up calls and visits are made when necessary to address concerns and to make sure property information is accurate. From all of this information and thorough extensive research, New Hanover County’s appraisers are able to determine the value for each property.
The County will mail out a notice of the 2021 Assessed Values in early 2021. That's not a tax bill. Those bills will be mailed out in August of 2021.
Property owners will be able to appeal their new assessed values prior to bills being mailed out.
The New Hanover County Board of Equalization and Review will meet as required by law and review all appeals.
Each year the board of equalization and review shall hold its first meeting not earlier than the first Monday in April and not later than the first Monday in May.
According to the Tax Department, "Since property taxes are based on value, it is important to have all property valued periodically on a uniform basis, using a modern system of valuation. Property values change with time. Some values go up, some go down, and others remain static. Appraisals must be updated or inequities in tax distribution will result. For instance, property valued at $150,000 in 2017 might now be worth $172,000, or the property could have declined in value to $135,000. In either case, the 2017 assessed value of the property is obsolete and will result in the property owner either paying too much or too little of his or her share of the tax for the operation of local government. New Hanover County’s revaluation will make sure people are paying taxes fairly, based on their current property value."
If a property owners thinks their new property value is incorrect, they can check the current selling price of similar properties in their area.
According to the Tax Department, the only debate is what was the market value of a property on January 1, 2021.
If you feel the assessed tax value is not in accordance with comparable properties in your area or if you feel that New Hanover County has inaccurate information about your property’s size or features, you can appeal the revaluation of your property. View the steps to appeal in the question below.
According to State Law,  the presumption is that assessments are correct and the burden to prove otherwise falls upon the taxpayer to, "produce competent, material and substantial evidence that tends to show: (1) either the county tax supervisor used an arbitrary method of valuation; or (2) the county tax assessor used an illegal method of valuation; and (3) the assessment substantially exceeded the true value in money of the property."
To begin the appeal process, complete the appeal form online at tax.nhcgov.com/forms or complete the appeal form that is attached to your revaluation notice sent in the mail. If mailing in the form, please mail it to the New Hanover County Tax Department, ATTN: Appraisal Department, 230 Government Center Dr. Suite 190, Wilmington, NC 28403.
The new values became effective on January 1, 2021 and will be reflected in the tax bills property owners receive in August of 2021.
As an example, under the 2017 municipal tax rate for the Town of Kure Beach, a $400,000 dollar home would pay $0.285 per every $100 of property value equaling a tax bill of $1,140. New Hanover County charges their own property tax in addition to the Town's tax rate. For the County tax bill, a $400,000 dollar home would be taxed at a rate of $0.554 for a bill of $2,216. Combined tax bill for both Kure Beach and New Hanover County for that home would be $3,356.
A county-wide revaluation will impact municipal budgets positively or negatively. If values increase, those local governments would collect more revenue without adjusting their property tax rates. The same applies if values decrease, meaning they would collect less revenue than in the previous year.
Local governments are required by State Law to adopt a "Revenue Neutral Statement" of how the revaluation will impact the property tax rate in an effort to promote transparency. Once that statement is adopted in a budget year, a local government has to justify why they have raised, or lowered, the property tax rate in response to the revaluation.
For example, following the last revaluation in 2012, the Carolina Beach Town Council increased the property tax from 17.5 cents to 26 cents per $100 of property valuation in order to remain revenue neutral. The increased tax rate was a result of the revaluation showing reduced property values in Carolina Beach by around 35%.

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