Conducting a revaluation in 2014 could cost an estimated $9 million, a county official told Mecklenburg County commissioners Tuesday.
Commissioners had asked county officials to report back on what it would cost to do another revaluation in 2014 or 2015.
Cary Saul, who heads the county’s Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, told commissioners that it would cost an estimated $8.3 million to $8.5 million for a private company to perform a revaluation by Jan. 1, 2014. The additional money would go to cover costs such as public relations and mailings related to the revaluation, he said.
Saul also said that by the time an independent review of the 2011 revaluation is complete, the county could not complete a revaluation by 2014.
“We’re still in the process of the (citizen-run) Board of Equalization and Review appeals. We don’t expect them to be finished until September,” Saul said. “In addition, we’re receiving 2012 appeals.”
Mecklenburg assigned new tax values for tax purposes effective Jan. 1, 2011, the county’s first revaluation since 2003. More than 40,000 property owners – an all-time high – appealed their values as inflated. They raised an array of questions, including how values were determined and how foreclosures and other distressed sales were handled.
Earlier this month, commissioners agreed unanimously on the scope of an independent review, including determining if state law was broken and how the next revaluation could be done better.
County Manager Harry Jones advised county commissioners to wait until an independent review of the 2011 revaluation is conducted before trying to improve on future revaluations. He said the time frame for implementing some of the recommendations from that independent review might affect the new revaluation.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Saul also said he didn’t believe the county had adequate staffing to undertake a 2014 revaluation.
Commissioner Bill James said Tuesday that a reason to pursue revaluation in 2014 was to correct issues from the 2011 revaluation.
“I think that there’s an option here to fix whatever is identified as a problem,” he said. “From my perspective, absent this reval snafu, I’d be happy to wait another eight years. But doing it sooner might fix the problem.”
State law requires a revaluation at least every eight years. Many experts suggest conducting them more frequently.