Polk calls information session for property revaluation

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017

COLUMBUS – The Polk County Board of Commissioners is offering help to residents who have questions or concerns about their recent property revaluation.

The county has called a special information session for Monday, April 3 from 5-7 p.m. at the Womack building in Columbus.

The meeting will include tax office staff being present to answer questions and distribute information. Staff will also help residents schedule appointments to discuss their property, give residents information on the revaluation process, appeals, exemptions and other tax programs, pick up and/or complete applications for appeals and/or exemptions.

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The county decided to offer this opportunity to help residents following the last two county meetings which were packed with residents expressing concerns over their property tax values increasing significantly, with some saying their values increased 300 percent.

Several residents have told commissioners they will have to sell their homes because they won’t be able to afford the new taxes.

County commissioners and staff have discussed the process of the revaluation with residents, and provided details of how residents can appeal their new values as well as available exemptions they could apply for where applicable, including present use value for farmland exemptions and elderly and disabled exemptions.

Commissioners said during the March 20 meeting that they do care and they are listening to the complaints.

Polk County, as all counties in North Carolina are, is required by state statutes to conduct property revaluations at least every eight years to get values to current market value. Polk County recently decided to do a property revaluation every four years from this point on in order to lessen the potential severity of property value changes.

The current revaluation, which is effective as of Jan. 1, 2017, saw 65 percent of properties in the county stay the same value or decrease in value and 35 percent see an increase in value. The new tax values will not be billed until after the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The increased values were mainly in the Green Creek Township, particularly near the new Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).

Commissioners said at the last meeting they want to work with residents to do all they can do to help.

Polk County contracted with Wampler Eanes Appraisal Group LTD to do the current revaluation, with the county paying the company $332,330 over a few fiscal years for the work.

Residents who do not agree with their new property values can go to speak to the tax office on an informal basis first. Following that process, if property owners are still not satisfied, they can appeal their value to the Polk County Board of E&R, which is scheduled to begin holding hearings on values during the month of April. If a property owner is still not satisfied with the board of E&R’s decision, they can appeal their value to the state.

Following the information session on Monday, the county board of commissioners will begin its regular meeting at 7 p.m.