Local News
4:48 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Fixing Revaluation Flaws Faces Hurdles

Witt Putney of Pearson's Appraisal Service explains a wall-sized map of Mecklenburg County showing hundreds of 2011 property valuations the firm is reviewing.
Credit Julie Rose

Property owners hoping to learn if the 2011 tax values assigned to their neighborhoods will be re-done because of errors will have to wait at least a few more weeks. The firm hired by Mecklenburg County to evaluate the property revaluation process will not share details of its findings until a county commission meeting on Nov. 13.  And even then, there are significant hurdles in fixing whatever flaws the firm uncovers.

Cornelius resident Bob Deaton and many more like him have no doubt what Pearson’s Appraisal Service will find in reviewing the county’s 2011 revaluation.

“Needs to be a redo - the revaluation was totally flawed,” says Deaton.

The firm’s findings are likely to be far more nuanced, though County Commission Chairman Harold Cogdell told the Charlotte Observer some neighborhoods could be re-done.  That would be highly unusual, but Pearson’s Appraisal project manager Emmett Curl says it’s possible. But without approval from the General Assembly, any adjustment the county makes to 2011 property values will only affect future tax bills.

Barb Scott of Cornelius says that's not acceptable.

“So now if I don’t get an adjustment in my value until 2013, the county has gotten bonus money from me for two years,” says Scott.

She's one of more than 50,000 Mecklenburg County property owners who appealed the new tax values assigned in 2011. The sheer number of appeals so overwhelmed the system that Mecklenburg County’s Board of Equalization and Review didn’t hear the last of them until just two weeks ago.

By then, the deadline to appeal 2012 values was long gone and 2012 taxes due. Barb Scott’s appeal was denied, so now she and more than a thousand others are appealing to the state Property Tax Commission.  

Over the next three weeks, Pearson’s Appraisal Service will hold a series of town hall meetings throughout Mecklenburg County to share what it learned in reviewing the 2011 revaluation.