State Sen. Jeff Tarte has told Mecklenburg County it must redo the error-plagued 2011 revaluation by essentially starting from scratch.
This is not a review process or an appeals process, Tarte, a Cornelius Republican, emailed to interim County Manager Bobbie Shields late last week. The 2011 revaluation on file is considered invalid.
Tarte and Rep. Bill Brawley, a Republican from Matthews, authored the bill that Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law late last month, forcing the redo and refunds to over-billed property owners.
The law was pursued after a small but persistent protest over inflated values in the last revaluation swept the county for more than two years.
Last week, Shields told county commissioners that Mecklenburg has already asked for proposals from appraisal companies to conduct the do-over.
Hes said the county would review values of each of Mecklenburgs 356,000 parcels by neighborhood as he said is instructed by the law. Commissioners will select a company on Sept. 17, and the redo would begin a day later.
As neighborhoods are completed, refunds would go to overbilled taxpayers who paid 2011 bills.
But in an interview, Tarte said he was concerned Mecklenburg was pursuing the do-over by reviewing and using appraisal work done in 2011.
Theyve got to do the whole revaluation completely over, he said, pretending the 2011 revaluation never happened.
He said the redo could reset values for thousands of properties where values were appealed by owners.
If you appealed and had the value of your property lowered, it still may be too high, Tarte said. Youll still be able to appeal again if you think its wrong.
Assistant County Manager Dena Diorio said Friday that she and Shields got a different message two weeks ago when they met with Tarte and Brawley.
The proposal request to appraisal companies, she said, stated we want a company to come in and review the values of the 2011 revaluation.
We need to have a meeting of the minds with Sen. Tarte and Rep. Brawley and talk about expectations, Diorio said. Clearly, it is the countys intent to comply with the law. We want to make sure that people entitled to refunds, get them.
The law does stipulate that the county-hired company conduct a review of all the values in the county by neighborhood and make recommendations as to the true value of the properties as of January 1 of the year of the last general reappraisal.
But Tarte said the county cant merely review values from the 2011 revaluation.
The company must appraise each parcel using strict methodology in the states Machinery Act, which governs revaluations.
They cant go back and spot clear things up, he said. The only way to get accurate values for all properties is to do the whole county over.
They cant pull a property (data) card and say, this value looks right to me, and slip it back in the box. There is a methodology to do this.
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