North Carolina law requires that all real property be assessed at fair market value as of January 1st of a revaluation year. Each county in North Carolina has a revaluation every 8 years. Unfortunately, Mecklenburg County’s 2011 revaluation was terribly flawed according to experts, leading to personal and commercial hardships.
One example of how this negatively impacted our Lake Norman homeowners in Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville was their decision to assess many varied waterfront lots at a flat $700,000 which is just plain ludicrous. The Cornelius waterfront home on the left in the photo above was one of my listings that sold for $451,000 last April. It’s lot value had been bumped up that January to $700,000 and my seller’s property taxes went from about $3000 to about $9000 which was significant enough that she was forced to move. Clearly, the fair market value was well below the $700,000 assessed value for the lot alone.
Needless to say, there was an immediate backlash from both residential and small business owners. After over a year of town meetings, county commissioner meetings, independent studies and analysis on just about every level, massive appeals by home owners in Mecklenburg County, the hiring of a new revaluation manager, the hiring of a firm by Mecklenburg County to evaluate the property revaluation process and the resignation of the Mecklenburg County Assessor, state lawmakers have started to file bills created to re-do these flawed 2011 revalutions.
On Monday, March 4th area lawmakers filed House and Senate bills that would require Mecklenburg County to correct problems and allow refunds to those overcharged because of inflated appraisals. According to a recent article in CorneliusNews.net, state Senator Jeff Tarte of Cornelius said in an interview that “It’s going to require that the county engage in a process that will completely redo the 2011 property tax revaluation… It’s to ensure that every property in Mecklenburg County, commercial or residential, has an accurate and fair market value for their property.”
The bill(s), HB200 and S159 has the support of the local legislative delegation as well as “broad support” in both the House and Senate according to Senator Tarte who expressed optimism about it being passed “quickly and easily”.
Apparently, even if/when it passes it still could be several years before property owners see refunds or new bills. As Cornelius Mayor Lynette Rinker stated at a recent Town Board gathering: “Anything that moves us closer to ending this debacle is a good thing.” Indeed!