Results of Carroll County’s 2013 General Reassessment show a 13.5 percent decrease in total taxable values with the new taxable value of real estate down more than $357 million countywide.
According to the results of the General Reassessment, the new taxable value of real estate is approximately $2.296 billion, down from the 2012 taxable value of $2.653 billion. In general, agricultural and residential values decreased 13 percent and commercial decreased approximately 20 percent countywide, according to the reassessment.
Carroll County Assessor Janie Harrison said that decrease equates to roughly $2,320,500 on the current tax rate, which would calcalute to roughly 10 cents on Carroll County’s current tax levy of 59.5 cents per $100 of real estate valuation.
“The overall decrease would include tax exempt properties and landuse properties. That is all subject to the hearings we are going through in the next two weeks,” Harrison said. “You have to take in consideration part of the decrease is involved in landuse. Those rates didn’t stay the same, so the actual decrease may be a little bit less. The landuse will offset it some.”
Mailings have already been sent on to Carroll County citizens regarding the 2013 General Assessment. Anyone that doesn’t agree with their appraisal has until 5 p.m. on Dec. 3 to have a hearing of appeals on the Carroll County Reassessment at the Assessor’s Office in the Carroll County Government Center. Anyone interested in setting up an appointment may do so by calling (276) 730-3084. Should the Reassessor fail to satisfy the property owner or the owner fails to take advantage of the Assessor’s review period, that owner may request a review by the Board of Equalization, whose members are appointed by the Carroll County Circuit Court. Deadline to file appeal with the Board of Equalization is April 15, 2013.
“If they have a problem with their assessment, if they feel like it doesn’t represent market value at this time, they need to make an appeal to assessors or the Board of Equalization by the deadlines. Once those hearings are complete, those values are in place until the next general reassessment,” Harrison said. “After those appeals, you have to file suit against the county through the circuit court, so now is the time to do it.”
Looking at market sales, Harrison said values have been steadily declining. Therefore, she said the results of the 2013 General Reassessment are not a huge shock. The next reassessment is scheduled for 2017 if the board of supervisors chooses to go with a four-year cycle, although it does have the option of going on a five-or six-year cycle.
According to the general reassessment mailing sent out by Carroll County, Wampler Eanes Appraisal Group Ltd. has the responsibility for reviewing real estate transactions and other factors and using the data to assess each parcel of real estate accordingly.
“There are many reasons for a change in real estate value. Sales information is gathered from buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals,” the mailing states. “Selling prices are then compared to the assessed values to arrive at an ‘assessment to sales ratio.’ Comparable sales information is used as a basis for the assessment of individual properties after the sales are carefully analyzed.”
Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Sam Dickson said the board hasn’t begun to discuss how the general reassessment may affect the county budget since the numbers have just come in recently. His thoughts were the same on setting a tax levy in the 2013 budget season.
“It will probably be a first-of-the-year thing to start with. What everybody is thinking right now is we just have to look at all the facts and go from there,” Dickson said. “It’s not all that startling because normally the assessments over the past few years have always gone up, and then in order to stay revenue-neutral you would just basically lower your tax levy. You still bring in the same amount of money but the tax levy would be less. The first time I was on the board it was 71 cents and now we are down to 59.5 cents. So it may have to go back up to get the same amount of money coming in, and that is what they call revenue neutral.”
Dickson advises everyone to contest their assessment if they feel it is not accurate because there may be facts the assessors didn’t know at the time of the assessment.
“The biggest disappointment to some people is that some people’s values went down and others went up. That is hard to explain to people,” Dickson said. “Everyone thinks everyone’s should go down, but it doesn’t always go that way.”