Friday, July 12, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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Property tax appeals grow: now more than 1,400

The county’s tax office is slowly chipping away at the mound of revaluation appeals that area residents have filed since they began to receive the results of the county’s latest mass reassessment three week ago.

According to Alamance County’s tax administrator Jeremy Akins, the tax office had accumulated some 1,444 of these appeals by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Akins also acknowledged that this figure has grown quite a bit since February 1, when the tax office had amassed 605 appeals in the first flush of responses to the new tax values, which went out to residents on January 25. The deadline to file an appeal is May 5.

This ever-growing deluge of challenges comes on the heels of the county’s first wholesale reassessment of tax values since 2017. Under state law, counties are obligated to conduct these mass reassessments every four to eight years. Although Alamance County has historically adhered to an eight-year cycle for revaluations, the board of commissioners had opted to complete the current reval two years early in light of the runaway growth that the local real estate had seen since the previous revaluation six years ago.

Akins acknowledged that the fallout from this boom was even greater than he anticipated when he presented the revaluation’s overall results to the commissioners on January 17. At the time, he calculated a cumulative spike of 79.4 percent in the county’s tax base, although he added that the county’s property owners may see their individual tax values vary from this countywide figure.

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Akins has also emphasized that an increase in a resident’s assessment shouldn’t be mistaken for a jump in their tax obligation. He has consistently stressed that the size of an individual’s tax bill will ultimately depend on the post-revaluation tax rate that the commissioners set when they adopt the county’s next annual budget. Akins has gone on to predict that, in order to break even, the commissioners will probably need to reduce the current rate of 65 cents for every $100 of property to something in the neighborhood of 43 cents.

Despite his professed confidence in the revaluation’s results, Akins has encouraged residents who believe their new values are in error to file a formal appeal with the county’s tax office.
Akins told The Alamance News that, of the 1,444 appeals that these skeptics have so far submitted, 186 have been reviewed by the tax office and are currently awaiting a response from the property owner to make sure they concur with the conclusion it reached.

The tax administrator added that, as of Wednesday morning, the tax office had heard back from one individual who accepted the results of the tax office’s review, while four others had withdrawn the appeals they had previously filed.

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