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2011 Revaluation Primer

The Haywood County Real Property Appraisal Office  has completed the 2011 Revaluation and notices of new property values are going out in the mail to taxpayers. Following is a primer on what revaluation is, why the County does it, what to expect when you get your notice and what you can do about the new value placed on your property:

1. What is Revaluation?

North Carolina law requires each county to reappraise real property (land, buildings and other improvements) at least every eight years. The last countywide revaluation was in 2006. The Board of Commissioners has chosen to conduct revaluation every four years to keep citizens from experiencing too much fluctuation in their values, but postponed the 2010 revaluation until 2011.

In this revaluation all 50,000 real estate parcels will be valued at fair market value as of January 1, 2011. Fair market value is the value at which a property will typically sell on the open market. So the primary reason for a revaluation is to periodically re-equalize property values to preserve uniformity and equity within the tax base.

 

2. What does market value mean?

As defined under North Carolina General Statute 105-283, market value is "the price estimated in terms of money at which the property would change hands between a willing and financially able buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used."

Simply put, this means that, when two parties trade property for money, both knowing what can and cannot be done with the property, and an agreement on the price is reached and and the trade occurs, then market value is established. Market value is generally determined from sales between unrelated and unbiased buyers and sellers.

 

3. How is the market value of my property determined?

Property values are not created or set by the appraiser or the tax office. People who buy and sell real estate in the open market establish market values. The appraiser's job is to diligently and carefully research and analyze those sales in the local market to determine an estimate of market value for all properties, as we are required to do by law. Depending upon the data available and the type of property being appraised, there are several methods an appraiser may use to determine value:

  • COST APPROACH involves determining how much it would cost to replace your property with a similar one, less depreciation.
  • MARKET DATA APPROACH compares your property with similar properties that have sold recently.
  • INCOME APPROACH measures the value of income producing properties, such as apartments, based on the amount of income the properties generate.

For 2011, the Haywood County real property appraisal staff began using a process called neighborhood delineation as part of the revaluation, to help analyze sales data in individual neighborhoods. To find out more about neighborhood delineation and see how it affected your property, click on the link below:

Find out more about neighborhood delineation

 

4. Will my taxes Increase?

Revaluation is not designed to raise taxes. It is to realign the tax base to equitably distribute the property values. However, you may see changes in your taxes for the following two reasons:

  1. How much your property value has changes since the 2006 Revaluation; and
  2. Any changes made to the current tax rate. The Board of Commissioners sets the tax rate annually based on the budgetary requirements of the County and expected revenues from all sources. Any possible increase in your individual property tax cannot be determined until the Board of County Commissioners sets the tax rate in June of 2011.
5. What if my value is too high?

If you feel that your property value is appraised too high, you can appeal the value to the Assessor's office in writing by using the informal appeal form that is mailed with Notice of 2011 Real Property Reappraisal . The Assessor's office will carefully review your information and inform you, in writing, of any change to your property value.

 

When you receive your new property value and do not agree with the value, you may appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review, which will begin holding hearings in April.  If you do not agree with the Board of Equalization and Review's decision, you may appeal to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission. The North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court would hear further appeals.

 

6. What information should I bring if I appeal the new value of my property?

Appropriate information or documentation to appeal your new value should provide evidence to support why your property is not worth the new value and what you believe its value should be. Examples of evidence could include any of the following: a recent appraisal, current realtor listings, sales of similar properties, pictures of property that show poor interior conditions, and verification of any incorrect information that the County currently is using to describe your house, such as the number of baths, basement finish, etc.

 

7. What is a Schedule of Values and how does it relate to revaluation?

The Schedule of Values is a set of standards and rules specifically established by the Haywood County Revaluation staff for appraising property in this county. The current Schedule of Values for the 2011 Revaluation was approved by the Board of Commissioners on October 4, 2010.

 

8. When will my taxes be due?

Each year, tax bills go out in August or September. While the bill is due when it arrives, it won’t become delinquent and incur a penalty until after January 5, 2012.

 

9. Isn't the purpose of a revaluation just to raise taxes?

No. In 2006, the Board of Commissioners actually lowered the tax rate following revaluation. The goal of revaluation is to help ensure that all property owners in the county only pay his or her fair share based on the value of the property. To keep the values constant over a long period of time creates inequity and, in effect, rewards the owners of properties that have appreciated at a faster rate, at the expense of owners whose properties have either not appreciated as fast, or lost value.