MATTHEWS An appraisal service hired by Mecklenburg County to review the countys hotly contested 2011 property revaluation set out a schedule for the process Monday in the first of six meetings designed to get public input.
Emmett Curl, a project manager with Pearsons Appraisal Service who is overseeing the review, said citizens hearings in July and August will be followed by an appraisal review conducted between August and October.
During September and October, Pearsons will conduct a statutory compliance review, Curl said. In November, a report will be delivered to county commissioners, and Pearsons will again meet with citizens to talk about the review.
This is a very important process; we want to do the best job we can, Curl said.
Among Pearsons roles, Curl said, is to review the 2011 revaluation for statutory compliance; review statutory requirements, including the process for notification of new values and the timelines for mailings and advertisements; and provide suggestions for future revaluations.
The review process will not review all property values or function as another level of property value appeal, according to the presentation.
About 70 people attended the meeting. Many were residents, but County Manager Harry Jones and County Commissioner Bill James and the mayors of Matthews and Pineville and a Mint Hill commissioner were among them.
I cant understand the point of paying anyone to do a so-called independent review of tax valuations ... when the county was paying for it, Mint Hill resident Chuck Renner said to loud applause. To me, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars and pointless. Its pointless because of the fact weve been told that theres no possible way that the 2011 review will be rescinded.
Amen! some audience members cried.
Matthews resident Daniel Buttrey is going to appeal his property revaluation again even though he doesnt think hes going to win.
Im going to get my moneys worth and Ill feel better, Buttrey said, but added that his family is going to move. Buttrey told a reporter his house payment, including taxes, went up about $500 a month as a result of the new valuation of his home: $695,000. He said he had his home privately appraised around the time the county appraised it and it was valued at $499,000.
I like Mecklenburg County, but right now, Im barely holding on, Buttrey said later. We want ideas for how it can be fixed.
Mecklenburg commissioners voted unanimously at their July 3 meeting to have Pearsons review the 2011 revaluation for $254,400, with a 16-week timetable to complete the review.
The commissioners decided to have an outside review of the revaluation after months of growing unhappiness over the job by Tax Assessor Garrett Alexanders office in 2011 to update tax values for 355,307 Mecklenburg parcels.
What began as a small-scale protest from property owners in the Cornelius/Lake Norman area spread through the county, including residents in Charlottes Myers Park neighborhood. Many homeowners argued that their reappraisals were over-valued and that the process could be illegal because it doesnt follow state law.
As of mid-July, the tax assessors office had heard more than 50,000 appeals of the revaluations.
Curl said everything Pearsons collects regarding the Mecklenburg County 2011 revaluation will be included in a comprehensive report.