Former Cornelius commissioner Jim Bensman thinks local officials in the area should do more to address citizens’ concerns about the 2011 Mecklenburg County property revaluation. He sends this open letter:
To the Mayors and Commissioners of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville:
As you all know, the citizens of Mecklenburg County have been challenging the 2011 Revaluation. The impact on the residents has been clearly stated for over a year, marked by emails, petitions, large turnouts at County Commissioner meetings, the Revaluation Review consulting engagement and high turnouts at the Review Public meetings. The stories are essentially the same: land values massively in error, lack of adequate or accurate availability of information to those appealing, poor and abusive treatment by the Board of Equalization and Review and a record number of appeals to the State Property Tax Commission. (See Aug. 1, 2012, “Property owners give consultants an earful on revaluation.”)
So what are you going to do about this? There has been complete public silence from Huntersville and Davidson, a letter and poorly delivered resolution from Cornelius. That’s it! Meanwhile, each town is basking in a flood of higher tax revenues mainly due to the invalid increases in property values determined by the County Assessor. We have appeared at Town Board meetings multiple times, talked to many of you individually and pleaded for support for this effort. Instead, almost nothing.
This is plainly unacceptable. You have a duty to stand up for the rights of your residents!
- You could attend these public meetings and see for yourselves what is going on (Mayor Tarte and Mayor Pro Tem Rinker attended last week’s meeting in Cornelius).
- You could support Commissioner Karen Bentley and the other Commissioners standing up for your residents.
- You could work with Speaker Tillis, the State Department of Revenue and get other state agencies to engage.
- You could insist that special consideration be given by the county to the elderly and infirm who have not been able to appeal their property values and are being forced out of their homes. You could insist the Board of Equalization and Review grant formal hearings for those residents.
- You could insist that meetings of the Citizen’s Revaluation Advisory Committee meetings be scheduled and be open to the public.
- You could monitor the progress of the review to assure that the review is conducted in a fair and open manner.
- You could assess the results of the review and support those recommendations that would provide relief to beleaguered residents.
- You could challenge that review if it is incomplete or inaccurate.
- You could support the adoption of important changes when those changes are considered by the County Commission.
- And much more…
There are 5 citizens carrying this load with the support of almost 1,000 people. This is a heavy burden and patently unfair. So how about pitching in?
You constituents will await your responses.
Cornelius Commissioner (Retired)