January 21, 2011
Managing Revaluation Appeals
The Tax Assessor’s Office plans to mail approximately 280,000 notices of new assessed values on or about February 7, 2011 to Mecklenburg County property owners. Prior to this mailing, staff and Board members have been active in educating Mecklenburg residents and property owners about the process of revaluation of real property, including the various steps in appealing the assessed valuation. However, as we approach the date when the new value notices will be mailed, key aspects of the appeals process will be even more important to communicate.
The County’s online information about revaluation (http://reval.charmeck.org) has been updated with additional information about the appeal process, including a new video explaining all the steps to appeal. Based on past experience, the Tax Assessor’s staff expects approximately 40,000 informal appeals (direct to the Assessor’s Office) and approximately 8,000 formal appeals to the Board of Equalization and Review.
After the new values are established and the notices are mailed, the Tax Assessor’s Office staff will continue to be extraordinarily busy through the spring and summer following up on informal appeals and other requests. Following up on individual requests from the media and Board members could be a full-time job for one of the seven appraisers assigned to the revaluation. Therefore, we are asking Board members assistance in helping the appeals process run smoothly. Board members can do this by directing constituent inquiries to the information on the assessment notice and/or revaluation website for further information, rather than calling the Tax Assessor’s Office. More specifically, Board members also should ask property owners to keep in mind the following:
- Follow the appeal process on the notice of value
- To appeal, there needs to be something significant about the property that the assessor did not take into account that would qualify for a lower value
- Review the information available at http://reval.charmeck.org before appealing
- Be patient. We will not know until the appeals start coming in how long it will take for the Tax Assessor’s Office staff to respond to an appeal. The more appeals, the longer it will take for the response.
- The revaluation does not determine the property taxes that will be levied on the property. The Board of County Commissioners will consider and set the property tax rate in June 2011 for tax bills to be sent in September 2011.
Board members with questions about revaluation should contact Tax Assessor Garrett Alexander at 704-336-2976 or
Maintenance Efficiencies Update
As reported in the November 5 Board Bulletin, the Real Estate Services Department (RES) staff has been exploring further efficiencies in building maintenance. As part of developing funding reductions for FY11, maintenance services of library and recreation facilities were consolidated under RES. An important element of the cost reduction strategy was outsourcing the maintenance services to private service providers, projecting savings of more than $1 million during the first year of the service contracts. RES has been pleased with the actual savings and services received.
With the FY11 consolidations, RES is now responsible for the maintenance of 3.45 million square feet of facilities. Currently, RES is using two distinct business models to provide maintenances services. Approximately 78% of this total space is maintained by private service providers. The remaining 22% of facility space is maintained by a combination of RES staff and contract providers. Making the full transition to one business model – maintenance provided contract vendors – will further increase efficiency and cut existing costs.
The Request for Proposals (RFP) for this full transition resulted in proposals from six vendors. RES staff is analyzing all proposals and anticipates providing a recommendation for the Board to award a contract during its February 15 meeting. This privatization of services will result in a reduction-in-force (RIF) in RES affecting 11positions, of which ten are filled.
Board members with questions should contact Real Estate Service Director Mark Hahn at 704-336-5483 or Mark.Hahn@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov.
-- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager