North Carolina law requires all counties to conduct a property revaluation at least every eight years to determine its market value. These new values are being sent out by the county to all property owners now because Mecklenburg County has advanced its cycle for appraisers to conduct the valuation every four years. According to Assistant Assessor Brad Fowler, Mecklenburg County shorted the cycle to ensure property values stay close to the current market and help keep the public better educated about the process.
The Assessor’s office has spent two years determining the market value of all properties and county assessors will visit all properties to verify the accuracy of record for the property, compare similar property sales and consider improvements or changes that have been made to the property.
Fowler said the assessor’s office has seen so far a 50% increase in property values countywide: 57% average increase in residential and 39% average increase in commercial. In Matthews, they’ve noticed so far a 56% average increase for residential and 30% increase for commercial.
The increase in values partially due to homes being built or flipped across the county which changes the neighborhood landscape each year. Ashley Park in West Charlotte for example has eight houses listed on Zillow.com. A newly built home is going for $700,000 while homes next door are worth less than half.
CEO of The Buildery, Hunter Moll told WCNC News that a hot market means good business for people in his industry.
Higher property values, however lead to higher property taxes.
“Higher interest rates, higher values, that’s higher payments and now you throw higher property taxes in there, it’s definitely going to squeeze affordability,” said Moll.
In a city council meeting last month, Charlotte Mayor Pro tempore Braxton Winston said that lower income families that bought their homes decades ago will be some of those most affected by the property revaluations.
“It’s a time period a lot of our folks have certain fears over, you know, when they see the tax value of their home can change 60%,” Winston said.
Many residents are happy to see value added to their homes, but others fear they’re being priced out.
“Gentrification doesn’t occur because the assessor is raising values,” County Assessor Ken Joyner said. “All it does is bring it to the forefront where everybody sees what is happening in those neighborhoods.”
Property owners will be notified of their new property values in March. If there is an error or if the property owner disagrees with the value, they can file a review by mail, in person or online. The form to request the review will be live once property values are sent out. It may take the county up to four weeks to respond. If owners disagree with the informal review, they can file a formal appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review. The deadline is May 25.
Once the new values are mailed out, the property tax bills based on the new numbers will be sent out in July.