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New assessed values go out Tuesday

Notice of new  values for every real property parcel in Henderson County go out Tuesday — the start of a weeks long process in which landowners and homeowners can appeal.

"They will be mailed tomorrow" by a vendor in the Triangle, said Tax Assessor Darlene Burgess said Monday. "Based on past experience, we're expecting people will start receiving them Wednesday afternoon. Appeals could land anywhere from a trickle to a flood, although a roaring local real estate market suggests a flood is possible. The 2019 revaluation is expected to show a much higher percentage increase in home values than in 2015, especially for mid-priced homes. In the last reassessment four years ago

Condo sales in 2018 were up by 4 percent, to $214,630, while single family homes on average rose from $288,847 to $300,044 — a 3.8 percent increase. Topping $300,000 on average, the sales price is "the highest we have ever had in Henderson County," broker Steve Dozier of Beverly-Hanks Realtors said. Those are year-over-year increases; the property assessment notices that go out this week will show the increase from the 2015 value to today's.

"I imagine we’ll get some feedback but we’ve got a good system in place to address all the feedback we do receive,” Burgess said. “We’re trying to make this for the convenience of the taxpayers. The reappraisal is on the ground floor. We’ve taken the tax collectors office and allocated three of those windows to the appraisal staff.”
Staffers will be able to handle basic questions, print out property cards of the parcel someone is asking about and help people find their parcel on tax maps if they choose, she said.
“For those people that actually do need to talk to an appraiser we’ll have someone escort them to an appraiser,” she said. “They’ll talk about whatever their issue is and they’ll discuss it with an appraiser. We’ll have someone monitoring to make sure we keep the lines down as much as possible. We try to put ourselves in the taxpayers shoes.”
If the state average of 10 percent of the assessments are appealed — the state average — the tax office could be looking at 6,600 phone calls or visits. Burgess says the staff will be ready.
“We’re prepared for anything that comes our way,” she said. “We don’t know what to expect at this point. It could be much less.”
Asked whether she has an average increase of the increase in the total taxable value compared to 2018, Burgess said the commissioners will hear that first.
“I have to share that with commissioners,” she said. “That’s when all those percentages will be finalized.”

The first step for taxpayers questioning the county's new value is to file an informal appeal using the form included in the Notice of Assessed Value. (You can also get a form at the tax office or on line.) After an appraiser reviews the informal appeal, the tax office will mail the result to the property owner. An appeal could result in the assessed value “being left unchanged, reduced or increased,” the county tax office says. The next step if the property owner is unsatisfied is to file a formal appeal with the county Board of Equalization & Review. The Board of Equalization & Review will meet as needed from April 15 to May 15. An appeal from the local board goes to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission. Appeals from the state Tax Commission go to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court.