With a mostly empty agenda, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners should be in for a short meeting on the evening of Tuesday, March 1.
Ahead of the meeting, however, the Commissioners will interview nominees for the Tourism Development Authority, beginning at 3:30 p.m., and will then appoint one individual to the board near the close of the regular meeting, which begins at 4:30 p.m.
Following a “Good News” announcement about the Sheriff’s Executive Resource Volunteers — who have logged more than 7,895 hours since November 2013 and saved the Sheriff’s Department $166,127 in funding — the commissioners will discuss reappraising property values in Buncombe County.
According to a North Carolina general statute, all local governments must appraise real properties every eight years. The last assessment of real estate property values in the county was completed on Jan. 1, 2013, therefore the county would not be required to complete another appraisal until 2021.
However, the current level of property values for county neighborhoods ranges from 50 to 85 percent of the true market value. This creates an inequity in property tax liabilities for citizens in Buncombe County, reads the resolution, meaning some citizens will have a greater burden of property taxes than they would if the properties were to be updated to 100 percent of the true market value.
This low ratio means the county must move ahead with mandatory reappraisal, according to the State statute, allowing the county to better manage the appraised values as close to true market value as possible and to maintain fair and equitable tax burdens for all citizens.
Possible pros listed in favor of the reappraisal include bringing all the real estate value to 100 percent of the true market value; allowing the county, municipalities, fire departments and school tax districts to better manage tax values and yearly tax rates; and the annual tax bills for citizens normally stay at the same amount, unless improvements are made to their homes.
On the other hand, citizens may have concerns regarding their property tax amounts, and, if the county should decide not to advance the reappraisal date, the North Carolina Department of Revenue would decide when the reassessment would take place.
The $158,600 that it would take to reappraise property values in 2017 has already been requested for the 2016/2017 fiscal year’s budget, which will be finalized and approved in June and July.
The meeting will take place Tuesday, March 1, at 4:30 p.m., on the third floor of the county building at 200 College St. To look over the full agenda, click here.