Revaluation findings show some errors, lack of visual inspections

Revaluation findings show some errors, lack of visual inspections

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 7:12 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An appraisal company hired to look into Mecklenburg County's 2011 property tax revaluation says a lot went right, but enough went wrong to cause some concern.

 
Some key points of Pearson's Appraisal Service's presentation Tuesday night included:
  • Out of 150 randomly sampled homes, about one third had problems, either major or minor.
  • Out of 50 neighborhoods which saw the highest increases, about three-fourths of of revaluations had issues, major or minor.
  • Out of 375 randomly sampled property tax cards, about a fourth had errors. 
  • Older neighborhoods were affected more than newer neighborhoods, although newer neighborhoods make up most of the revaluation.
Some causes of those problems included inaccurate sales data, high levels of inequity between properties, inappropriately applied modifiers and very few in-person property inspections.
 
Pearsons also found a lot of people unhappy with the way they were treated, and the county needs to do a better job dealing with the public.
 
"The informal appeals process was ineffective in addressing taxpayers' concerns and taxpayers need to be listened to, and concerns need to be addressed and explained; this was a major frustration," said a Pearson's  employee making the presentation to county leaders. 
 
Bill Sykes from Cornelius was one of thousands of people who got sticker shock about the assessed value of his home after Mecklenburg County's 2011 revaluation.  
 
"It went from 684,000 to 1.2 million, so that's 100 percent," he said.
 
 A higher assessed value means the more taxes he has to pay.
 
Sykes, like so many others, said something has to be wrong.
 
"The situation is flawed; the system is flawed," he said.
 
Sykes says add up all that went wrong, and it should equal a revaluation do-over. 
 
"We hope what they reveal today will make a big difference," he said.
 
It's up to county commissioners to take the findings and figure out what's next. 

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