at least trying to ease
pain of revaluation
Published 3:36 am Tuesday, June 23, 2009
It wont be pretty, but it could be worse.
Were talking about property taxes and the state-mandated revaluation Beaufort and other counties are required to do at least every eight years.
As you read in Sundays Daily News, county property values could rise an average of 35 percent when appraisals by the county Tax Assessors Office are completed later this year. Thats similar to property revaluation increases our neighboring counties, where rates shot up from 15 to 45 percent.
And though its sometimes soothing to know others are feeling our pain, it sure doesnt help our bank accounts or wallets.
What may help ease the trauma, though, is knowing that our county commissioners and county manager are feeling our pain.
Though most, if not all, Beaufort County homeowners are expected to pay more property tax in 2010 than they did this year, the county commission has pledged to keep residents tax rate revenue neutral after revaluation.
With a huge expected increase in property values, commissioners have said they are dedicated to lowering the countys current tax rate of 60 cents per $100 valuation. How much theyll lower it, we dont yet know, but its a good sign that they understand the significance of the property-value increase and how it will especially affect the less-affluent among us.
And keep in mind, the county didnt dream this up just to raise more money. State law requires that property be appraised for taxation at 100 percent of market value at least once every eight years.
Beaufort County last revalued property in 2002, and the current reassessment will ensure that all property values match current market values and that every property owner is taxed equitably.
According to Beaufort County Manager Paul Spruill, our area has experienced a real-estate boom in the past eight years though you wouldnt know it these days.
And thats what makes the revaluation surreal for some residents: They havent been able to sell their homes because of the nasty recession were in or they have sold them, but for less than they could have a year or so ago yet their property values have skyrocketed.
So hang in there, folks, and well ride this out together.