Mecklenburg County residents still smarting from the 2011 revaluation will have their first look at a law to allow refunds when state lawmakers unveil legislation at the Government Center on Monday.
Sen. Jeff Tarte and Rep. Bill Brawley will announce the details of the new bipartisan legislation, which is expected to go before the General Assembly this week, at 9 a.m. Monday at the Government Center. This will have a fairly significant impact on all municipalities in the county, Tarte said. In some ways, the process is just starting.
Mecklenburg County commissioners authorized the county attorney in recent weeks to work with Tarte on drafting the legislation, which Tarte described as a local bill that will allow officials to issue refunds for the 2011 revaluation. It will absolutely go back and fix the 2011 revaluation, he said.
Last year, an independent study by Pearsons Appraisal Service found the last, county-managed revaluation in 2011 riddled with mistakes. The study found dozens of neighborhoods where properties were either overvalued or undervalued. Among 151 randomly picked neighborhoods, 49 had at least minor flaws 15 of those had major ones.
While Mondays proposed legislation will help Mecklenburg County residents specifically, Tarte said state lawmakers will be able to rectify revaluation issues statewide when they update the Machinery Act later this year.
The Machinery Act governs property taxes and requires reappraisals at least every eight years. Its supposed to guarantee that property values are set uniformly in each county.
Cornelius resident Barb Scott, who has been an active proponent of refunds, called Mondays legislation a major step forward. But she added that shes hoping Mondays presentation will address some of her lingering questions. For instance, it remains unclear whether the legislation will allow the county to also raise the home values of those who were under-charged during the 2011 revaluation, she said.
In an email newsletter on Saturday, former Cornelius Commissioner Jim Bensman praised lawmakers. Bensman was also a vocal proponent of revaluation refunds while he served on the town board. Even after he moved to Colorado last summer, he has remained active.
While this is not over by any means we are on the verge of finally bringing fairness to all the residents of Mecklenburg County, Bensman said.