CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As property owners continue to have sticker shock over new assessed values, city and county officials say help is available for some.
Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner says the low-income homestead exclusion is available for people who are disabled or over 65 and make less than $30,200.
If you qualify, most homeowners can receive a deduction of 50 percent of a home’s assessed value. Eligible people can apply between now and June 1.
“It makes a very big difference,” Joyner said.
For the first time, the city of Charlotte is offering assistance as well. The city of Charlotte has invested $500,000 in a pilot program called “Aging in Place.” To qualify for the program you must be over 65, have lived in the home for at least 5 years and have an income between $30,200 and 80 percent of the area median income.
Qualified applicants can receive a grant up to $1,000. Councilman Justin Harlow’s efforts led to the program’s fruition.
“We focus so much on Charlotte being a millennial magnet city and it is great we want to have a professional young workforce,” Councilman Harlow said. “We forget about all of these people who have been here forever. They have invested in the city's processes, we want to protect them as we continue to grow.”
The concern with property revaluation is not only with seniors but also for people who live in gentrifying neighborhoods.
Records show 21-year Wesley Heights homeowner Colette Forest’s home went up 142 percent. She worries revaluation may lead to people being pushed out of their homes.
“I am terrified that it might get worse,” Forest said. “Even though I was anticipating a jump I didn't know it was going to jump that much.”
County officials are stressing the revaluation notices are not tax bills. Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte will set their property tax rates in the coming months. Tax bills will go out over the summer.
While relief programs are available for the disabled and senior citizens, Joyner says there is not much relief for people who live in gentrified neighborhoods.
“Beyond those programs there is not a lot of statutory relief that we are able to do because of the limitations,” Joyner said.
County Commissioner Mark Jerrell is organizing town halls for constituents to answer any questions and assist with possible appeals. Commissioner Jerrell says all options are on the table and is asking for the public to give commissioners a chance to figure out their priorities, collect data and determine funding requirements and options.
“I have every intention of not fundraising our priorities on the backs of our seniors, of the poor or people who had been adversely impacted in these gentrified areas,” Commissioner Jerrell said.
Mecklenburg County is planning six sessions to address questions from property owners. All run from 6 to 8 p.m.:
- Feb. 6 - Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave., Cornelius
- Feb. 11 – CAMP Northend, 1824 Statesville Ave., Charlotte
- Feb. 12 – West Boulevard Library, 2157 West Blvd., Charlotte
- Feb. 21 – Comm. Mark Jerrell District 4 Reval Workshop at the CMGC Meeting Chamber, 600 E. Fourth St., Charlotte
- Feb. 26 – Marion Diehl Recreation Center, 2219 Tyvola Rd., Charlotte
- Feb. 28 – Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews, 2425 Sports Parkway, Matthews
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