Sunday, May 9, 2021

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Commissioners okay 2-year advance in next reval as prelude to 4-year cycle

Alamance County’s board of commissioners has agreed to move up the implementation of the county’s next property tax revaluation from 2025 to 2023 – as a stepping stone to the eventual acceptance of a four-year revaluation schedule in lieu of the eight year cycle that the county has traditionally used.

The county’s governing board gave a unanimous nod to both of these changes on Monday at the behest of the county’s tax administrator Jeremy Akins, who had originally broached these proposals to the commissioners last month.

Tax collector Jeremy Akins (file photo).

Akins had initially suggested a two-year advance in the next reval when he approached the commissioners in mid-April about a growing disconnect between the county’s assessed tax values and the actual sale prices of taxable real estate in Alamance County. At the time, Akins informed the commissioners that this disconnect had already prompted the state to order the county to conduct its eight-year reval a year early.

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He went on to recommend that the county move up the revaluation by an additional year in order to reduce the amount of revenue it would otherwise lose from public service companies, whose tax values had been automatically docked by the state pending the results of the county’s next revaluation.

In addition to proposing that the county advance the date for the next reval, Akins encouraged the commissioners to consider a four-year cycle as an alternative to the county’s eight-year revaluation schedule.

The commissioners ultimately approved both of these proposals on Monday after the tax administrator delivered a brief presentation on the potential impact that the reval could have on the tax bills of area residents.

In his presentation that morning, Akins tried to address a misconception that the county’s forthcoming revaluation will drive up the tax bills of residents.

Akins stressed that the goal of the reval is to get assessed values back in line with the actual worth of properties as measured by real estate sales. He added that the board of commissioners has traditionally reset the tax rate at a “revenue neutral” level after reval, which has effectively wiped out the gain that its coffers would get from an increase in assessed property values.

Akins emphasized that this revenue neutral rate ensures no change in the tax liability for the average property owner in Alamance County.

“If the value goes up when the rate goes down you might pay a little bit more,” he went on to explain. “If the value goes down and the rate goes down you will pay less.”

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