Due to a tremendous amount of erroneus information on the valuation, tax, credit and appeals processes presented on social media and to honor their commitment to serve the people of Rutherford County, the commissioners had called a special meeting with appropriate experts to answer citizens’ concerns over their new property revaluations. Over 1000 property owners have already filed appeals to the assessments citing improbable increases as much as 100%.
At last Thursday’s special called Rutherford County Commissioners’ meeting, the commissioners opened the meeting with a list of emailed, texted and personally received questions and had the appropriate personnel respond.
Then Chairman Bryan King opened the floor to individual’s questions that had yet to be answered. He dispensed with the usual formality of a sign-up sheet to remove a perceived barrier to speaking up. Many of the presenters spoke of their objection in a manner of a personal appeal. The tax assesser responded by asking them to come talk with him about their individual situations. They also had the option to file an appeal.
The Commissioners, along with the Rutherford County Attorney Richard Williams, explained that Rutherford County is mandated by law as to how it conducts property revaluations, the creates a budget, sets the tax rate, and collects taxes.
Per statute, the county is required to conduct a property revaluation at least every eight years. Due to rapidly esculating property valuations in the second home market in the real estate bubble in the 2005-2008 period, the County opted to conduct revaluations on a four-year cycle to head off drastic valuation changes.
However, this year’s property revaluation shocked many property owners. The pandemic and its effect on the real estate market is felt throughout many counties across North Carolina who have also conducted revaluations this year.
No new tax rate has been set as the requred “revenue neutral” is dependent on the annual county budget.
“We have to operate within the law,” Commission Chairman Bryan King said. “For us to suspend this new valuation, we must have permission from the state legislature.”
The Commissioners resolved to request that our elected legislators pass a bill allowing the County the power to use the existing property valuation of 2019 instead of the 2023-2024 fiscal year revaluation numbers.
The commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. Should the legislature approve the delegation of power to the counties, other NC counties may also take advantage of the revaluation set aside.
King said state officials have indicated they will move quickly on the legislative request.
Commissioners also noted the rogue GOP members’ orchestrated movement to spread disinformation regarding the property valuation and county tax rate. (See related article.)
“I have seen too much disinformation, and lies,” said Commissioner Alan Toney. “We don’t need this to be happening. We need to be working together. I don’t want my taxes to increase either, but we need your support, not more division.”
The meeting attendees seemed reassured by the factual information presented.
Officials hope to hear back from the state on this new valuation set aside within a few weeks.