Tax reports, revaluation discussed at Monday’s BOC meeting

Published 11:50 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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Board addresses refunds, delinquent taxes and 2025 property tax values 

POLK COUNTY–At Monday’s Polk County Board of Commissioners, tax reports, refunds and the 2025 tax revaluation were among the agenda items discussed.

Polk County Tax Administrator Melissa O’Loughlin first addressed the Board regarding 2022’s uncollected tax amount. The unpaid taxes amount to $1,175,447, and the motion to charge the Tax Administrator to advertise and collect the 2022 unpaid taxes by any and all means was approved unanimously. Tax administrators will be making calls and sending reminder bills to establish contacts and payment plans. 

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“If those fail, we can garnish wages or attach bank accounts,” said O’Loughlin. “If those fail, as a last resort we are left with foreclosure.”

In addition to delinquent taxes, the issue of tax refunds was mentioned. There were two major refund requests; one for the Tryon International Equestrian Center and one for Jennifer Patton. Both refunds were needed due to clerical errors that resulted in double billing. The motion to approve the tax refund request was approved unanimously.

Lastly, the Board discussed the 2025 tax revaluation. 

“In Rutherford County, there’s been a 40% increase in property taxes, [which] creates a concern for Polk County going into revaluation for 2025,” said Polk County Manager Marche Pittman. “We wanted to get it on the agenda to discuss how it’s going to shape up and look like for us.”

O’Loughlin told the Board the revaluation will be conducted via “desktop reviews,” referring to reviews completed using Google street view.

Like Henderson and Rutherfordton counties, Polk’s revaluation is now required every four years. Previously, revaluations occurred every eight years. The Board assured those in attendance that property values may change, but what drives these values are home sales. A change in value doesn’t mean a change in tax liability. 

“Just because your evaluation goes up does not mean that your taxes will necessarily go up,” stated Pittman.

The projected date for the updated property values to go into effect is January 1, 2025. Notices will be mailed out in February of 2025, tax rates would be set in June, with tax bills being mailed out in July of that year.

“So that’s the window of time frame that we’re looking at,” O’loughlin said. “The middle or end of July of this year is when the appraisers will start going out to the field.”