“‘Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes” Christopher Bullock 1917
We are about to experience a significant increase in tax values this year in Buncombe County, at least for most of us. This is a countywide assessment that must be done every 8 years and may be done sooner if the county's sales assessment ratio is less than .85 or greater than 1.15. The last countywide assessment was done in 2013 and the Board of Commissioners determined this past summer that properties will be reappraised. You may have see this image floating around cyberspace. While not always accurate this is a great picture of how value is perceived.
( photo credit unknown )
Watch this video with an explanation.
Property values have risen substantially over the past few years. Some areas have seen more growth than others. The new appraisals will reflect that change. As you may imagine, this process can be very difficult to do with complete accuracy. Rarely will you hear anyone complain when the tax value is lower than market value because, lets face it...we pay less. But the tough part is when the assessment does not accurately reflect your personal situation. For example, if you live on the outskirts of town you may be affected by the "hot" neighborhoods who's values have gone through the roof. The Board of Equalization and Review , 5 members chosen by the Board of County Commissioners, do their best to use a mass appraisal for specific areas and group certain types of properties together. However, there are areas that overlap geographically while others have very diverse property types which can make it difficult to accurately assess the current market values. Market values are determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for a certain property in the current market. Recent sales records, income approach, and cost of building are all evaluated to determine these values.
Below is a short list of homes that sold last year in Woodfin specifically. As you can see, the sales prices have surpassed the tax values from the previous 2013 assessment by a considerable amount.
Appraisers will also take into consideration factors that affected the prices of neighborhoods during the economic downfall in 2007-2008 which impacted many newer neighborhoods in the area that didn't yet reach full occupancy. Neighborhoods like Reynolds Mountain, for example, have seen an average increase of a little over 30% and show to have stabilized and are steadily increasing. This was also part of the decision to delay the reassessment until now. Things were way out of wack during that time as if you didn't notice.
The tax rate for Buncombe County is currently $0.604 per 100 dollars of tax value.
( Subject to change in June ) Woodfin's current tax rate is $0.305 per 100 dollars ( and may increase by 5.6 cents to help pay for the Greenway ) and the Woodfin Fire Department rate is $0.100. This bill is combined for convenience of collection and payment.
Keep in mind that the "Tax Rate" is different than "Tax Value" . The tax value is what is being assessed right now. The tax rate is determined in the fiscal year. The Board of Commissioners will meet to determine the budget for 2017-2018. Once the budget for the year is established they will then determine the tax rate. This will be done by August in time for the September 1st tax bills to be released. Here is the formula on how to calculate the property , however the tax rate in this subject to change.
There is an appeal process that will be available for anyone feeling that their property has not been properly evaluated. When you receive your letter at the end of this month or some time in February, you will have specific instructions on how you can appeal along with the forms required. You must appeal between January 1st and April before the Board of Equalization & Review adjourns. You will need to provide a good argument with comparables and any other information and photos supporting your appeal. Remember that this committee is made up of experts in the area with experience in resolving these matters. If it's a matter of oversight, and your argument makes sense, it shouldn't be that much of a hassle. If your appeal is not accepted or you are not satisfied with the Board of E & R's decision, the appeal can go to the Property Tax Commission in Raleigh, but this is a very rare occasion as most appeals are handled before they get to this point.
If you are on permanent disability or a senior citizen over 65, you may qualify for a discounted rate. The property value will not change, but the amount being paid can be evaluated and possibly reduced. There are some financial requirements you must meet for this to be considered. You can see them here.
The Buncombe County website has some additional resources that may guide you along the way. CLICK HERE
You can also see a PDF document with additional details by CLICKING HERE.
If you have any specific questions regarding your property or would like some detailed insight on your current property's value , please give me a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help in any way that I can.