South Charlotte

Matthews property owners still getting tax refunds

Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner said recently that Matthews may have to refund as much as $600,000 to residents whose property was over-valued during the 2011 countywide property revaluation.

At a recent town meeting, Joyner said that amount was his best estimate.

“To date, there has been about $140,000 in refunds approved by the board. I believe it could rise to $600,000,” He said.

Joyner said he can’t be more precise because of software limitations.

Joyner said that to date his office has processed approximate refunds, including interest, for the towns of Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville but expects more refunds to come. In Matthews, $281,485 has been refunded; Mint Hill, $174,499; and Pineville, $47,333.

Matthews Town Manager Hazen Blodgett said that while the $600,000 will be a major hit to the town’s budget, it will be compensated for in other areas.

“The toughest part is that the level of certainty on that number isn’t as high as I would like it to be,” Blodgett said. “We were aware of the possibility (when we created this year’s budget) and we were conservative in our projection of property tax revenue, but the county couldn’t give us an accurate estimate of refunds.

“For example, our sales tax revenue will be larger than projected, so we should be OK.”

Joyner said the county is almost finished with the revaluations and that the final reports should go to the County Board of Commissioners for approval in April. Blodgett said all town tax refunds should be issued by May.

Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch said that while he’s signed a lot of refund checks for property in his town, the amounts were relatively small.

“I’ve signed a slew of checks, but the vast majority of them are for just a few cents,” Welch said. “What I’ve seen so far is not enough for me to be alarmed about. We will still meet or exceed our property tax estimate for the year.”

In Pineville, Finance Director Richard Dixon said he isn’t sure how much his town will be required to refund.

“We decreased our budget for 2015 property taxes by $137,000 compared to the budget for 2104,” he said. “We still don’t know how much we will have to refund, and we also have to pay the interest on that amount as well.”