State law mandated a reassessment of all ±350,000 parcels in Mecklenburg County for the last reassessment, January 1, 2011.  Where does this stand?

Pearson Appraisal Company is in the process of completing the appraisals and has a goal of mailing out 25,000 new assessments per month, meaning we should have our revised 2011 tax assessments within the next 12 to 14 months.  Where do we go from there?

Obviously, if you are pleased with your reassessed value, you do nothing.  On the other hand, if you appeal it seems you are going to have the same rights you had before.  If you believe your assessment is too high you can appeal to Mecklenburg County and be heard once again in front of the Board of Equalization and Review (BER).  It looks like the process will just start all over again.  The question becomes what happens if you had an appeal in progress?  What if you had a successful appeal at the BER level?  What happens if you did not have a successful appeal at the BER and you’re headed to the Property Tax Commission in Raleigh (PTC)?

Well, it seems you’re going to have another bite at the apple.  I understand if you are headed to Raleigh and the PTC you can continue along this course of action as well.  We sat around the office the other day and tried to dream up a bunch of questions and what-if’s.  For example:

  • What if you have a successful appeal at the BER level and you’ve already paid your taxes for 2011, 2012, and 2013, when do you get your refund?  Is it in fact included along with a 5% statutory interest on the money you paid?  We believe you receive the 5% interest but – when?
  • What happens if you sold property in 2011 or maybe in 2014?  If there are “rebates,” when do you get them?
  • What if you had some type of deferment, such as the builder deferment program, a farm deferral, or some other type of deferral in Mecklenburg County and they need to “recalculate” your taxes and provide a refund or an additional payment because your taxes actually went up?
  • What happens if your LLC or ownership group ceased to exist after the reassessment in 2011?  My understanding is the refund will go to the person or company that paid the tax.  What if this company no longer exists?

It seems there are several different scenarios the law did not contemplate.  Suffice it to say it will be an interesting process that we must endure again in order to deal with the appeals in Mecklenburg County.  However, it does appear things will go more smoothly this time and I’m betting that in terms of residential valuation, there won’t be that much difference between the prior values and the new ones.  Commercially, who knows?  I think it’s a game of wait and see.

If you are a property owner in Mecklenburg County and you have paid ad valorem taxes for 2011 or beyond, you’re going to get another chance to appeal your assessment.  This new assessment should be sent to you some time within the next 12 months.  (Visit the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office web page here for more information/details regarding the revaluation.)

As always, best of luck, and don’t forget we’re around for those situations where you may need some assistance.

See you next quarter.

Skeet Harris