Appealable issues versus Non-appealable issues: We strive to take a "value snapshot" of the County as of January 1, each year. In order to incorporate new construction, including remodeling we use the same appraisal manual and methods used to appraise properties that were in existence for the 2021 Revaluation. By doing this, we believe everyone is paying their "fair share" of annual tax dollars to the County and municipalities.
The following reasons are among those having no legal basis for a change in value:
- My tax bill is too high
- I am retired and on a fixed income (ask if you qualify for one of the exemptions)
- My property was annexed into the city
- My neighbor's value is less than mine but you refuse to identify which property is lower than yours
- My neighbor's value only increased 25% while mine increased more
- I built the house and/or the addition, garage, porch, etc.) myself for less than the assessed value
- My house was damaged by fire, wind, water, etc. but the damage was repaired before the next January 1st
- I paid more or less than the appraised value after January 1, 2021
- Property values increased/decreased after January 1, 2021
Every revaluation is a new starting point. There is no precedential value based on prior actions of the Board of Equalization and Review or staff. With each appeal the only debate is what was the market value of this property on January 1, 2021.
The last two reasons above are particularly difficult to understand. However, the answer is firmly grounded in law and is part of the reason we can say everyone is paying a "fair share". NCGS 105-287 says, in part:
"… In a year in which a general reappraisal... is not made, the assessor may not increase or decrease the appraised value... to recognize a change in value caused by:
(1) Normal physical depreciation of the improvements; (2) inflation, deflation or other economic changes affecting the county in general... "
In addition, appeal courts support the above. In re Allred, 351 NC. 1, 519 SE. 2d 52 (1999) the Court said: "A post-octennial revaluation sale is not a statutory permissive basis for adjusting a property's tax valuation." During the life-cycle of the 2021 revaluation, neither party (you nor we) may use a sale that occurred after December 31, 2020.
The following reasons are among those that DO have a legal basis for a reduction in value:
- A listing of properties with similar design, age, condition and square footage but with lower values;
- Sales of highly similar properties that occurred before January 1, 2021, but the selling price is lower;
- The condition of the property is diminished due to wind, water, fire, etc. damage that is unrepaired (you will need to supply proof as to when the damage occurred, the damage is unrepaired and provide pictures or a report).
- Synthetic Stucco (EFIS). You will need to supply a Water Intrusion Report and a Cost Estimate to repair from a licensed contractor. Of course, if the EFIS had been replaced before January 1 the problem is cured.
- The burden of proof to show the value is incorrect is the responsibility of the property owner or its approved representative.
- The North Carolina General Statutes permit property owners to appeal their assessed values during the revaluation year, as well as during each non-revaluation tax year. The appeal must be filed, in writing, before the Board of Equalization and Review adjourns.