Revaluation rules could change

- Homeowners in big counties such as Mecklenburg and Wake could see tax departments setting new valuations for their property more frequently.

The General Assembly is expected today to give final consideration to bills requiring some counties to speed up scheduled reassessments when property values dramatically dip or rise. The goal is to keep tax valuations close to market values.

Counties must reassess properties for tax purposes at least once every eight years, according to current state law. The legislature wants to require counties with 75,000 people or more to plan reassessments when median market values differ more than 15 percent from tax values.

In fast-growing counties such as Mecklenburg, homeowners are surprised when they see how much their home valuations jump in eight years.

Under the proposed legislation, if market values in a county fall significantly below or climbed significantly higher than tax valuations, counties will have, at most, three years to reassess.

Periodic revaluations aim to ensure that homeowners pay their fair share for city and county services based on the worth of their homes.

For homeowners, a higher value assigned to their property can mean a sudden hike in their tax bill, though municipalities typically adjust the tax rate downward to partially compensate.