Some actions still need to be addressed, while others have been completed in the plan elected leaders and County executive management have been working since fall 2012. The Action Plan seeks to identify and correct problems with the 2011 revaluation.
Once the new assessor is in place, she or he will address two plan items the Board deferred for the permanent assessor. One is to develop a detailed work plan for the next revaluation to include public input and feedback. The other is to evaluate the organizational structure of the Tax Assessor’s Office and recommend changes.
At eight months into the plan, leaders want to update residents on what’s occurred and what’s to come. Following is a review of the BOCC approved revaluation work plan with highlights.
Why the Need?
In response to concerns from citizens about the Mecklenburg County property revaluation/reappraisal of 2011, the Board contracted with Pearson’s Appraisal Services to conduct an independent review. This review included an assessment of the administrative procedures, conformity to legal requirements and accepted appraisal standards, integrity of data, and the dissemination of information to the public.
On the basis of that report delivered in November 2012, Interim County Manager Bobbie Shields, (a general manager at the time) in his role as interim assessor, developed a work plan addressing the Board’s priorities.
What Is Completed?
- Created an Action Plan
- Amended the contract with Pearson’s Appraisal Service, the company hired by the County to review the 2011 revaluation
- Hired David Reeves, former senior IT project manager for the County’s Business Support Services Agency Information Technology, to fill a new role as the first IT program manager for the County Assessor’s Office
- Convened a Revaluation Review subcommittee of BOCC Chairman-appointed BOCC members; made changes to the Board of Equalization and Review recommended by the subcommittee, and developed a new appeals process
- Replaced all 15 positions on the Board of Equalization and Review with new BOCC appointed members
- Addressed major issues such as identifying all other neighborhoods where there are or may be major issues of inequality; recommended additional resource needs to the BOCC
- Researched the legality of retroactive property appraisals
- Appointed then General Manager Bobbie Shields, who is now Interim County Manager, to fulfill the
- unexpired term of the tax assessor
- Contracted with Customer Service Solutions, Inc., to conduct a customer service assessment of the Tax Assessor’s Office; CSS presented the findings to the BOCC and executive management
- Adopted a Fiscal Year 2014 Budget which funds some recommendations as a result of the Revaluation Review Work Plan
What Is Next?
- Hire and appoint an assessor: A search firm is looking for the person who will head the Tax Assessor’s Office, and the deadline to apply is July 28, 2013. Leaders worked to be farther along in the process and earlier offered the job to a candidate. When he withdrew his name, the hunt began again. In the meantime, Interim County Manager Bobbie Shields continues to serve as the interim assessor. The BOCC appoints the assessor.
- Continue the work of Pearson’s to identify minor issues in neighborhoods, and address any issues
- Develop a customer service improvement plan for the Tax Assessor’s Office and get the BOCC’s approval
- Research “best practices” of similar counties
Update: Gov. Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 159 into law on July 26, 2013.
Read more about the Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor’s Office and the revaluation process at the official County website.