The Revaluation Review Committee met April 8 and decided on some recommendations it will pass along to the full Board of County Commissioners relating to the process of appealing a property value.
The committee began meeting in March to review procedures currently used by the assessor’s office and the appointed Board of Equalization and Review (BER).
The assessor’s office sets the value of properties during revaluation years or when a property is newly constructed or remodeled. The property owner can make an informal appeal to staff in the assessor’s office. The committee will make the following recommendations regarding that process:
- Provide more detailed reasons for “no change in value” on informal review decision notification.
- Improve the informal review process and offer taxpayers the opportunity to meet with staff.
- Have Assessor’s Office appraisers provide customer service feedback cards to taxpayers when appraisers conduct field visits.
If a property owner is not satisfied with the result of the informal appeal, he can opt for a formal appeal before the Board of Equalization and Review. Here are the committee’s recommendations about the BER and BER hearings:
- Invite NC Department of Revenue, Local Government Division, to give charge/training to new BER members.
- Allow taxpayers to provide additional information up to the day of the hearing.
- Use block scheduling for the BER hearing times.
- Maintain appropriate formality during BER hearing proceedings.
- Whenever possible, deliberate immediately after each case is heard.
- When deliberating, only include assistance from the Clerk to the BER, not other Assessor’s Office staff.
- During BER member orientation, inform new BER members of option to defer case decisions until additional information may be provided.
- Review all provided information in advance of decision making.
- Provide customer service feedback cards to taxpayers at the end of hearings.
- Report compilation of customer service feedback to the Board of County Commissioners on a monthly basis. Report will be provided by email to Commissioners.
The committee, made up of commissioners Bentley, Leake, Fuller and Rittenhour, was formed by the full Board to look at how the Board of Equalization and Review conducts formal hearings for property values being appealed. Formation of the committee was one of multiple steps taken by the Board to correct problems that resulted from the 2011 county-wide revaluation.