BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell County Tax Assessor Fran Elliot and Tax Collector Bill Furches advised the Board of Commissioners to stick to the county’s property revaluation schedule despite some residents’ concerns about increased property values leading to a higher property tax bill.
North Carolina law requires each county to conduct a countywide property revaluation at least once every eight years. However, Iredell County is on a four-year reappraisal cycle.
Some citizens have asked if the 2023 revaluation could be delayed.
Furches told commissioners it would not be a wise decision to delay the revaluation. The latest they could postpone it to is January 1, 2025.
He cited a number of reasons to stick to the schedule, including:
• A loss of revenue from public service companies;
• A reappraisal now may allow for a rate reduction, which may or may not increases taxes;
• The fact that the work has already begun on the revaluation, and staff would have to to start over; and
• Other departments and municipalities are depending on the funds that will be generated from the revaluation.
Seven other counties in the region have a 2023 reappraisal, Elliot said. Those are Wilkes, Yadkin, Rowan, Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Catawba ad Alexander.
During the last two years, there has been a dramatic increase in sales prices resulting in a larger gap between the 2019 assessed value and the current sales ratio, which has dipped down now to 71.5.
According to Elliot, 74 counties in the state have a ratio less than 85-percent.
“We’re undervaluing property in our county at the largest gap in our history that we’ve maintained these records,” Elliot said. “So we’re having a big disparity between the sales price and what we have assessed at.”
Based on the most current information, Elliot is not anticipating that real estate prices will dip. They are likely to remain close to where they are now, although sales could decline.
According to the UNC School of Government, between March 2020 and March 2022 home prices increased by 45 percent.
We have another half of year to look at sales to see if the trend does go down, she said. Currently, the county is seeing ranges from 19 to 42 percent home price increase in sales.
“Maintaining a four-year cycle will help lessen the gap between assessed values and current market values by virtue of the shorter cycle,” Elliot said.
About the 2023 Revaluation
The purpose of the 2023 revaluation is to equalize the tax burden among property owners and among all classes of property.
Property values change with time due to the market conditions and other factors.
This results in groups of properties being under or overvalued. The periodic reappraisal of real property equalizes the tax burden by insuring all real property is assessed at the current fair market value.
The reappraisal is conducted by the full-time appraisal staff of the Iredell County Assessor’s Office. All of the appraisers and management are certified by the N.C. Department of Revenue.
Property Tax Relief Programs
There are tax relief programs for elderly, disabled and disabled veterans who must meet certain income qualifications and other criteria.