• Developer to pay woman's property taxes after story aired on Ch. 9

    By: Mark Barber

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - UPDATE: A developer contacted Channel 9 the next day after watching reporter Mark Barber's story on the Mecklenburg County revaluation.

    A woman Barber interviewed explained how difficult it is to already pay property taxes in an area that is now booming with development.

     

     

    The developer for Juanita Crawford's neighborhood said he would pay her property taxes until she moves. 


    REVALUATION: Meck County property values, taxes could see sharp rise

    Juanita Crawford has called a house in Charlotte's West End her home for 51 years.

    "We came here in 1967 from Cleveland, Ohio," she said.

    Crawford said when she and her husband moved to Charlotte, the neighborhood was rife with drugs.

    Now that the streets have been cleaned up, prices have increased.

    Crawford said they are on a fixed income, so they have to save all year to pay for their property taxes.

    She heard taxes could go up again with the latest property revaluation.

    "For us senior citizens, (we) stay at something we can afford to pay," she told Channel 9.

    Mecklenburg County has to revalue properties every eight years. It will be the first revaluation since 2011.

    [LINK: MECKLENBURG COUNTY REVALUATION WEBSITE]

    So far, the assessor's office said homes in Mecklenburg County are averaging 38 percent more than the last revaluation.

    Estimates based on what we know now show that if you currently own a $150,000 home, you pay $1,967 in taxes.

    A 38 percent value increase would bring your home value to $207,000, which would include a new tax bill of $2,700.

    For a $350,000 home now, you would pay $4,591 in taxes.

    A 38 percent value increase would bring your home value to $483,000, which would boost your tax bill by $1,700.

    [Mecklenburg County leaders continue budget discussions at retreat]

    Businesses owners are worried they'll pay more, too. Commercial properties that have been surveyed by the assessor so far have gone up an average of 79 percent.

    "If the tax goes up, the prices for your customer goes up. If they can't absorb that cost, you go out of business," said Bernetta Powell, a business owner in the West End.

    The biggest thing that could keep taxes from going up is if the city and the county lower the tax rate.

    Commissioner Pat Cotham doesn't think that will happen.

    "We're not likely to lower it because we have all these people living here and they have all these kids, and we're already behind on schools. We got to do this," she said.

    Cotham is encouraging people to pay attention and start preparing.

    The numbers for the current revaluation are still preliminary.

    Assessors still have to evaluate one-third of the properties in Mecklenburg County.

    [Mecklenburg County could see tax increases]

    New property values for 2019 will be sent out in January and new tax bills will be sent out that summer.

    Cotham told Channel 9 that the county has improved its operations since the last revaluation in 2011.

    Thousands of people protested their new property values during that revaluation.

    The county ultimately readjusted those values and that drop led to budget gaps for the city and county.

    Cotham said a potential property tax increase would affect everyone, even renters who live in apartments. 

    She said the landlords who pay those property taxes would likely raise rents to cover an increase.

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