Some take issue with proposal to fix problems with revaluation

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - Mecklenburg County will lay out a plan to fix some property values, but Channel 9 found some commissioners and homeowners who don't think the process will be fair.

An independent firm identified what the county did wrong last week. Now, plans call for the county to fix some people’s property tax problems.

Kathy Davis' Myers Park home jumped in value in the 2011 revaluation. When she hears the county may try and fix it…

“I have a problem with that,” she said. “They're saying they can fix the very things they were just telling us weeks ago didn’t exist.”

County Manager Harry Jones proposes hiring an outside company to fix major issues of inequity, but allowing the county assessor to address minor issues. And he said it can be implemented under existing state law.

Jones declined Eyewitness News’ request for an interview, saying his proposal speaks for itself.

It's a proposal one county commissioner is highly critical of. In a letter to Jones, Commissioner Bill James wrote public confidence in the county is so low, “many will be suspicious if existing county staff controls the process,” that county staff were "brought kicking and screaming" to the correction process and wonders why action wasn't taken if current state law allows it, saying  "problems that could have been fixable a year ago are now larger and more intractable because of inaction on your part.”

Although her words are less harsh, Commissioner Jennifer Roberts agrees.

“The commissioners who are concerned about using the existing staff are pointing to something real. The community doesn’t trust that,” she said.

Don't expect relief soon. Jones said any firm hired to revalue properties would need one year after it is awarded the bid. That could cost taxpayers $1.5 to $2.5 million.  And keep in mind, property that was undervalued could be going up. 

A countywide revaluation is expected in 2015.