Polk County’s 2017 property revaluation begins

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016

By Leah Justice



Polk County is on its way to assessing updated values to properties.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met with county tax administrator Melissa Bowlin and Robert Haskins with Wampler Eanes Appraisal Group LTD during its Feb. 22 meeting. The county has contracted with Wampler Eanes to complete the property revaluation with a contract of $332,330 to be paid over a few fiscal years.

The new property values will be assessed as of Jan. 1, 2017. Counties have to revaluate property values at least every eight years. Polk’s last revaluation was effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Haskins said his firm does revaluations in Virginia and in North Carolina. Wampler Eanes began Polk’s assessments last August, with Haskins saying his firm currently has three listers and will have four working on the project.

As of the end of February, Haskins said the Hunting Country area of Tryon, the area of Big Hungry, Bright’s Creek, and the residential areas only of the town of Tryon had been completed.

Haskins said Wampler Eanes had just started working in Columbus and also had a specialist beginning to work on lake front property, specifically Lake Adger.

Haskins explained that employees knock on doors and then explain what they are doing on the property. If the person is not home, Haskins said they leave a yellow card on the door with a phone number to call with any questions. Haskins said so far, residents in Polk County have been 99.9 percent friendly.

Haskins also said he was studying sales and as of February the firm still had 10 months left of sales to look at so they currently do not know what the new values will be.

Haskins praised Polk County’s staff, saying the county’s two appraisers especially had been helpful.

“They’ve been able to tell us problems we’ve had in the past,” Haskins told commissioners. “I think by getting that feedback from them you’re going to have a real good product.”

Commissioner Ray Gasperson asked how soon the county will have data such as the growth rate.

Haskins said he likely needs another six months for that. He said last time the county did a reval Polk had extremely high values. Haskins said the county is going to have some areas that will decrease in values. Polk also has the new equestrian center, speaking of Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), saying it will be later in the year before he can give the county that trend.

Gasperson also asked about neighborhoods and if Wampler Eanes will be drawing a lot of new neighborhood configurations because of TIEC.

Haskins said Polk currently has 395 neighborhoods which is entirely too many. He said they will consolidate some around the county. TIEC’s village, however, Haskins said, will be a neighborhood to itself and the entire TIEC center will be a neighborhood by itself.

“Areas where there’s more growth,” Haskins said, “they will have to be in their own neighborhood.”

Commissioner Vice Chair Keith Holbert asked whether enlarging these neighborhoods will that mean the firm can get more accurate values.

Haskins answered yes it would.

Gasperson asked what Wampler Eanes does about anomalies that may happen, such as someone paying a price that may be 2-3 times what would have been sold otherwise.

“One sale doesn’t make a market,” answered Haskins. “Two sales don’t make a market. Anytime you have a unique property coming in like the equestrian center, it’s going to take time to figure out the trend.”