Consultants who reviewed the 2011 Mecklenburg County property revaluation delivered their final report to county officials on Friday. That means it’s now up to county commissioners to decide how the county responds to the consultants’ findings of flaws in the revaluation. Commissioners will take up the issue The issue is on the agenda at Tuesday’s county commission meeting.
Pearson’s Appraisal Service says in the report that it found “inequities” in valuations of similar properties in sample neighborhoods it studied, including some around Lake Norman and in south Charlotte. Pearson’s recommends that the county conduct a broader review to find out if more neighborhoods also saw discrepancies.
Some critics say the county needs to completely re-do the revaluation, and refund any excess taxes that might have been paid. A re-do also could result in higher valuations for some property.
The consultants also are recommending changes in customer service at the County Assessor’s Office. And they found problems with valuations in commercial neighborhoods they looked at.
Jim Bensman, a former Cornelius commissioner who has pressed the county to study and fix problems with the revaluation, says Pearson’s report “substantiates most of what we have been saying for over a year.”
In an email to followers, Mr. Bensman called for major changes in the assessor’s office, including reassignment of firing of Tax Assessor Garrett Alexander. “In order for there to be any confidence in whatever corrective actions are decided upon, there have to be major changes in the personnel involved,” Mr. Bensman said.
He also called for appointment of an independent citizens’ committee, perhaps the existing Citizen Revaluation Advisory Committee, to oversee whatever corrective actions the county might take.
“I believe the stage is set for this issue to be resolved. It will be time consuming and expensive for the County to repair the damage,” Mr. Bensman said.
Cornelius Mayor and state Senator-elect Jeff Tarte has said state legislators already are drafting legislation that would allow Mecklenburg County to re-do the 2011 revaluation.
RELATED COVERAGE AND LINKS
Download a copy of the report and summary letter on the county website.
See also the full agenda for Tuesday’s Mecklenburg County Commission meeting at MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.