Polk County property revaluation nears completion

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

COLUMBUS – Polk County Commissioners held a public hearing on the current property revaluation schedule of values with only one speaker concerned over the impact on his property that is near the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).

Commissioners met Monday, Sept. 19 and first heard from Robert Haskins, with Wampler Eanes Appraisal Group, which the county has hired to revaluate the property.

The only public comment came from Dave Doubek, who said he has a property a mile away from TIEC that he purchased before the equestrian center came to be.

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Doubek said he has a 50-acre piece of property and he is concerned how TIEC will affect its value. He said it’s far enough away where traffic isn’t a concern.

Haskins answered Doubek saying it’s a tight area around the equestrian center and he would be happy for Doubek to come in and talk with him about the property and his concerns.

Haskins updated commissioners on why property revaluations are done at least every eight years in North Carolina. He said over a period of time property values change, with some increasing and some decreasing. He said a revaluation is necessary to “level the playing field.”

“We’re taking a snapshot and will set values effective Jan. 1 (2017),” Haskins said.

Haskins said everyone is concerned about the influence of the equestrian center on property values. He said the equestrian center is its own neighborhood and it is not going to have the same values as other properties farther away.

“So we cannot penalize the people that are farther away,” Haskins said.

He said the same of some neighborhoods in Saluda and Tryon, which are valued higher. He said the appraisers are trying to break them into neighborhoods where the properties are similar.

“There are 232 properties that have sold in Polk County since the first of the year,” Haskins said. “We are looking at those and breaking them into neighborhoods to see that those neighborhoods are priced properly.”

Haskins also reviewed the process of the revaluation. He said appraisers have visited homes and have either spoken with homeowners to make sure they have information correct or left cards if the homeowner was not there. Haskins said they did not look in windows but have been asking questions or taking measurements of the house if the measurements do not seem correct. Haskins said appraisers are taking note if there’s been an addition to the building or if they find a porch that is now enclosed. If the person is at home, the appraisers are asking questions such as how many bathrooms are in the house or if a basement is finished or partially finished and what kind of roof or siding a building has.

Haskins said almost all the field reviews have been completed and appraisers are now working on clean up, revisiting any properties that were missed or had locked gates, calling people and  revisiting properties that may look wrong on paper.

The new values will be sent to property owners in January.

Haskins said he and county staff will be available to meet with people to gather additional information. Anyone who feels their property has been valued incorrectly, will have a chance to meet with appraisers on an informal basis, where Haskins said the property may be revisited. Property owners not satisfied with the final revaluation of the property will then have the opportunity to appeal the value with the Polk County Board of Equalization and Review.

“The board’s concern is they want everyone to be valued properly and equitably,” Haskins said of the E&R board. “They will make their decision.”

If a property owner is not satisfied with the E&R board’s decision, the property owner can appeal their tax value to the N.C. Property Tax Commission in Raleigh.