Mecklenburg County residents who, due to a county error, incorrectly thought they needed an attorney to take their appeals of last years property revaluation to the state will get a 30-day extension to file their appeal.
If you didnt file because you thought you had to have an attorney, youll have 30 days from the date the (county Assessors Office) letter was mailed, Cary Saul, who heads the countys Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, said Friday. My understanding is that they (the appeals) will be accepted by the Property Tax Commission.
After residents raised concerns in April, Mecklenburg officials removed a page from a county website that month that incorrectly told property owners theyd need an attorney to take their appeals of the 2011 revaluation to the states Property Tax Commission.
Saul said Friday the Assessors Office was sending letters about the 30-day extension to property owners that received letters with their property valuations from the Board of Equalization and Review between the time that the county learned their website erroneously stated residents needed an attorney to appeal and the time they took it down.
Saul did not know how many letters went out or how long the information about the attorney appeared on the countys website.
The extension does not apply to property owners who received letters regarding their property valuations after the incorrect information was taken off the county website.
Before Fridays news about the filing extension, taxpayers still had the opportunity to appeal their values to the state Property Tax Commission if they were not satisfied with decisions made at the local level. But county and state officials said at the time there was no guarantee that any late appeals would ultimately be considered by the state panel.
The information on the website is just one of many complaints levied by some property owners after the county sent out new property values in 2011. Others include concerns about how the county factored in the impact of foreclosures in some neighborhoods and how land values were assigned to some properties. The county has generally defended its work on the revaluation.
Officials have said accurate information telling property owners that either they or an attorney could file an appeal to the state Property Tax Commission was included in letters sent to those who asked a local citizens appeals panel to reconsider their 2011 values.
There were a lot of people that got letters that didnt look at that website and knew they didnt need an attorney, Saul said.
Residents have said they worried that some property owners gave up on their appeals because they thought they needed to have an attorney.
Saul has said a more extensive review of the website showed the misinformation was part of a frequently-asked-questions page about value appeals.
The state Property Tax Commission is the third stop for appeals. Challenges are first reviewed by staff in the assessors office, and those decisions can be appealed to the citizen-run Board of Equalization and Review. Property owners have 30 days after receiving their decision letter from the BER to appeal to the state.