Some Cornelius residents frustrated with appeal process for property tax revaluation



CORNELIUS, N.C.,None - Residents in Cornelius may form a task force to help lawmakers draft state legislation to change the appeals process when it comes to property tax revaluations.

Thousands of homeowners across Mecklenburg County have filed appeals with the assessor's office since revaluation notices were mailed out last year. A large number of the appeals came from Cornelius, where some property values increased in value by 70 percent or more. Many people are upset with how the process has been handled.

Some of the frustrated residents were at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce on Friday to ask a property tax expert questions about the appeals process and North Carolina law.

Some had appealed their revaluations but had those appeals rejected. Gene Medlin is one of those homeowners. His home used to be valued at about $460,000, but after the revaluation, it skyrocketed to more than $770,000.

Medlin filed an appeal with the county.

“What I got back out of that was just a simple note saying no change, like most other people. No explanation," he said.

Medlin then called the assessor's office to find out why his appeal was rejected.

"And the answer that came back two or three days later: Mr. Medlin, there's nothing in your file," he said. "It's very frustrating.”

Some homeowners spent money on their own independent appraisals and the county still rejected their appeals.

"It's a disconnect between what all the experts in the market -- certified appraisers -- are coming back at versus the value that's coming out of the assessor's office," said Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte.

The Mecklenburg County assessor's office told Eyewitness News that more than 40,000 homeowners have appealed, and many of those appeals were successful.

In all, property values have been reduced by almost $2 billion so far, and there are still thousands of appeals pending. They have also said that the state and county did their own analysis and found that the process used to reset the property values was sound.

Still, homeowners told Eyewitness News they plan to continue fighting for change in the appeals process.

In addition to the formation of a citizens task force, many homeowners will meet again next week to compile their data together. It could be used to potentially file a formal complaint to the state attorney general.

The assessor's office said they can appeal at the state level to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission.

More information:

Mecklenburg County Revaluation