Panel to discuss revaluation matters
Published 5:31 pm Thursday, January 2, 2014
The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners’ audit committee will discuss revaluation-related matters during its Jan. 27 meeting.
The notice announcing the meeting did not provide details concerning what revaluation matters could be discussed.
The last revaluation, performed in 2010, resulted in many county property owners seeing their property taxes increase significantly. Those increases upset them. They contended the property values assigned to their properties were not in line with fair-market real-estate prices and did not represent their true market values.
North Carolina law requires a county to conduct a revaluation at least every eight years. Some counties conduct revaluations sooner than every eight years.
In June of last year, an effort to put extra money into Beaufort County’s 2013-2014 budget to help start the property revaluation process early in Beaufort County failed during a Board of Commissioners meeting.
Commissioner Stan Deatherage’s motion to provide the funding — by dipping into the county’s fund balance — failed when commissioners Al Klemm, Robert Belcher, Ed Booth and board Chairman Jerry Langley voted against it. Commissioners Gary Brinn and Hood Richardson joined Deatherage in voting for the motion.
Deatherage sought to begin revaluation no later than 2016.
“We need to ’fess up and say to the people that we’ve got values in this county that are completely out of whack with what the real values are. It’s not our fault. It’s not our appraiser’s fault. It’s not our tax assessor’s fault. It’s just a condition what is. What is is in a state of change. We need to figure out how we can best approach getting these values back in line before the state of North Carolina tells us we’re way out of whack. At that point, we may not have the opportunity to begin putting money away. … If we can start putting the money away now, we’re not only saying to the public we’re moving forward, we’re saying to our tax assessor and our new tax collector we’re moving forward,” Deatherage said at the June meeting.
Jim Chrisman, the county’s finance officer, reminded the board that state law requires a county to set aside part of its fund balance each year to help pay for a revaluation. Chrisman said the county can set aside more money each year for revaluation than the law requires.
Currently, the county is setting aside about $125,000 each year for the next revaluation.
“What I’m looking for is this board to commit to revaluation sooner rather than later. I want to move with all haste to get it done,” Deatherage said then.
Performing a revaluation before 2018 would help bring property values more in line with true market values and give many property owners a break on their property taxes before 2018, the latest the next revaluation could occur, some commissioners said.
At the June meeting, Brinn said it’s time to provide taxpayers that break by performing the revaluation as soon as possible.
The committee meets at 3:30 p.m. at the county administrative offices, 121. W. Third St., Washington.