Keith Miller

Buncombe taking steps to make tax values more equitable

The county plans to spend $844,000 on new tax assessment initiatives over this fiscal year and the next. Actions include asking Buncombe residents to report improvements to their homes, buying software to double-check the valuations county staffers give to homes and reaching out to residents to help them challenge their property tax values.

Buncombe County seal

Commission­ers to consider tax changes; higher STR rates off the table

Proposed changes on the agenda for the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday, Oct. 18, include adding staff and improving software to make the county’s assessment of home values more accurate, asking state legislators to expand a tax break some homeowners get under state law and increasing efforts to tell homeowners how to challenge their tax value.

Panhandling sign

How is Asheville addressing panhandlin­g?

While current city ordinances place some restrictions on panhandling, in most instances it is a legal means of making money. Bill Davis, spokesperson for Asheville Police Department, says police had received 95 calls for panhandling this year as of Aug. 17, the majority of which were requests for wellness checks out of concern for those in need.

Asheville noise complaints by type

Asheville gets one-year update on noise ordinance

Before the noise ordinance was passed last September, most noise complaints were called in to the Asheville Police Department nonemergency line. While APD still handles nighttime noise complaints and those that might come with safety risks, the city’s Development Services Department resolved 71% of complaints over the past year.

Buncombe County opioid settlement graph

Buncombe shapes plan to tackle opioid crisis

Buncombe behavioral health manager Victoria Reichard noted that the county has received roughly $2 million of a more than $16 million lawsuit settlement, negotiated with pharmaceutical companies over their role in the opioid epidemic, this fiscal year. Of those funds, a county team has recommended about $518,000 in immediate spending.