An appointed citizen review board continues to chip away at the nearly 5,000 appeals that area property owners have filed since the county’s tax office completed its latest mass reappraisal of taxable real estate.
As of June 30, Alamance County’s board of equalization and review had addressed some 2,338 of the 4,880 appeals that the tax office received since it implemented the results of this year’s revaluation in January. These completed appeals represent just over two thirds of the 3,272 cases that the tax office has managed to work through before handing them off to this appointed panel.
Of all the cases that have, so far, been cleared by the board, the vast majority have merely received a cursory nod from its members after a more thorough review by the tax office. The board’s members have nevertheless held formal hearings on 222 parcels belonging to 218 individual property owners.
According to the county’s tax administrator Jeremy Akins, the tax office has yet to complete its initial review of another 1,608 appeals that have been lodged since the revaluation.
Meanwhile, another 144 cases have been examined by the tax office’s staff but are still awaiting responses from property owners, who can either accept the staff’s verdict or demand hearings before the board of equalization.
“Out of the appeals we have worked,” the county’s tax administrator added, “we recommended reductions on 1,952 (59.7 percent)…we recommended no change on 1,243 (38 percent); and we recommended an increase on 77 (2.4 percent). The median recommended increase was $5,253.”
Akins went on to observe that, of the 218 people who’ve had cases come before the board of equalization and review, a total of 123 have failed to show up for their hearings. The board’s members have nevertheless heard the appeals from these no-shows, with a consultant in the county’s employ standing in place of the absent appellant and another consultant representing the tax office.
Akins observed that, in a number of completed cases, the board of equalization and review, has rendered a verdict that differs from the tax office’s pre-hearing recommendation.
“Among parcels heard as cases before the board of equalization, 49 were reduced below the tax [office’s] recommended amount, while 173 did not change from the…recommended amount.”
According to the tax office, the board’s rulings have resulted in a cumulative decrease of $1,127,262 below the staff’s recommended reductions, which totaled another $2,981,990 for the 222 cases that have come up for hearings. These adjustments are a comparatively small chunk of the $120,005,935 in tax value that the tax office had originally struck from the 3,272 appeals it has, so far, been able to process.