Expect a knock at your door, property visits part of tax assessor’s revaluation process

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Beaufort County property owners should expect a knock on the door as officials work to complete the next property tax revaluation, set for 2025.

Tax Assessor Lloyd Salter said staff from his office and hired contractors will be in the field for the next year and half gathering information for each of the county’s roughly 47,000 parcels.

It’s the tax assessor’s responsibility to “fairly and equitably” appraise real property for tax purposes. Property tax rates are set each year by the Board of County Commissioners and North Carolina law requires a revaluation at least once every eight years.

“We feel you need to be as exact as you can be on the data,” Salter said. “The process in this is making sure the data we have on everyone’s real property is as correct as we are able to make it.”

Salter said he understands the need to visit property might not make his office the most popular, but he hopes that property owners can appreciate his desire to get each property tax card as accurate as possible.

“I understand you as a taxpayer, may not want this company or us going out there and looking at your property,” he said. “We’re only doing it to make sure that what we’re required to do by law is correct.”

North Carolina appraisal company Vincent Valuations was hired by the county to help complete the revaluation. Salter said they have experience in Eastern North Carolina and will assist with visual inspections and property walk-arounds.

County staff and representatives from Vincent Valuations will have county badges, but they could be driving personal vehicles with magnetic county stickers, Salter said. They will begin each visit with a knock on the door to identify themselves and may ask property owners questions.

“We’re not coming out there trying to find stuff to raise your taxes,” Salter said. We’re trying to get our listing accurate. We want the data correct. We want to work with you.”

Questions a property owner might expect include confirmation of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, improvements such as renovations, flooring and the addition or removal of porches and decks.

Each could influence the assessed value of the property, which is determined by comparing information gathered in the field with market information including recent sales for each neighborhood.

Salter said it’s likely many property values will increase compared to the last revaluation, but that isn’t necessarily the case for each individual property.

“Someone might call and say I no longer have this garage,” he said. “Or maybe they had an addition and might not have acquired a permit and that wasn’t picked up since the last revaluation.”

In either case, Salter said, the goal is accuracy.

“It’s fair to you and your neighbor to pick that up accurately.”

Property owners will be notified of their newly assessed values shortly after the revaluation becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2025. Details on how to file an appeal will be included on the notice and be available online.

For more information about the real property revaluation, visit https://co.beaufort.nc.us/238/Tax-Assessor, call 252-946-7981 or email, revalemail@co.beaufort.nc.us.

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