CHARLOTTE, N.C. Margaret Gulledge has lived the American dream. She's lived in the same home near Sharon Amity Road in Charlotte for close to 50 years. She's raised her children in the home and still lives there today.
But Gulledge is shocked, and says her dream has turned to disappointment because of her 2011 Mecklenburg County Tax Assessment.
She calls it too much.
Gulledge's home value shot to $145,000, and she believes her home should be valued at $80,000.
At the Board of Equalization and Review, Gulledge was among the first Mecklenburg County residents to formally appeal her revaluation.
Gulledge won, in a way. The Board voted to reduce her value to $120,000. But she says that's not enough.
Gulledge brought evidence that the homes in her neighborhood are selling for $60,000-$80,000.
But according to the Board, those homes are foreclosures. And foreclosures aren't always a true market value comparison, members say.
"While the value came down, they didn't come down below the 2003 level. You still see an increase over 2003," said Garrett Alexander, the Mecklenburg County Assessor.
Alexander points out that homes in Mecklenburg County haven't been assessed since 2003 when the market was strong and growing stronger. He added the crash in 2008 doesn't completely negate the increase in value that many home owners have experienced.
In all, 20 people appealed Tuesday. The Board reduced three home owner's rates.
Vendy Marijono also appealed. He's an investor who bought a home near Plaza Midwood for a rental property in hopes of making money. When the tax value went up, he says he lost money, and cannot sell the house either. Marijono says he enjoyed dabbling in real estate until the "tax came into play."
There are 3,200 people who are scheduled to appeal their new rate. And the board expects several thousand people to follow in formally appealing their new assessments.
Those who are still not satisfied with the board's decision will be able to appeal to the state.