Commissioners give final approval to reappraisal plan

Commissioners give final approval to reappraisal plan-attachment0

After recent marathon meetings over contentious personnel issues and a greenways plan, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners presided over a much shorter and calmer meeting on Sept. 18.

The commissioners unanimously cast a final vote approving a plan to reevaluate property values for tax purposes a year before they’re required to by state law. The vote was mostly a technicality; the commissioners previously held a public hearing on the matter and voted to approve the plan Aug. 14 by a 4–1 margin. At that time, Commissioner Holly Jones cast the lone vote against it, fearing it could result in a bigger tax burden on poor and working-class residents. However, she voted Sept. 18 to support the plan, saying that her concerns over equity could be addressed when the board determines the property rate next year.

The property reappraisal process is meant to simply determine the value of county residents’ homes and land, explained county Tax Director Gary Roberts.The county will mail notifications to residents of what the values are in January, he said. Then commissioners can take the values in to account when determining the tax rate in the spring, he said. Roberts requested the move because the real estate market has undergone major changes since the last valuation was conducted in 2006. State law requires revaluations to be conducted at least every 8 years.

Board Chair David Gantt noted that due to the fluctuating real estate market of recent years, “we just don’t know what the results of the revaluation will be.”

Vice Chair Bill Stanley was absent from the meeting due to travel. County Manager Wanda Greene missed the meeting due to illness. And a county staffer who had planned to update the commissioners on the “Know Your Numbers Incentive,” which offers county employees paid time off in exchange for improving health indicators, was also absent due to sickness, according to Gantt. The presentation will be rescheduled, he said.

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Jake Frankel is an award-winning writer and reporter who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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