Local leaders want to change revaluation law

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis has convened a panel that could seek to change state laws surrounding property revaluations.

Tillis lives in Cornelius, and while there have been passionate complaints from homeowners all over Mecklenburg County (a total of 40,000 property revaluation appeals) a lot of concerns are clumped in Cornelius, where some waterfront land has skyrocketed.

The county is reviewing appraisals in the Lake Norman area and officials are expected to recommend new values for a handful of them. But the majority of homeowners who appealed don't think their appraisals will budge.

Which is why Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte asked the county to stop the appeal process in February.

"Candidly, we're a little bit the squeaky wheel," Tarte says. "Eventually we will need to change legislative statutes."

Tarte says the current process is not establishing true market value for homeowners.

Another problem, he says, is this: "It's a little bit backwards that the burden of proof is on the property owner to prove that the value isn't set correctly by the tax assessor's office. So they end up then hiring professionals or certified appraisers to value their property, and then depending on technicalities, often times that information is not being accepted by the tax assessor's office."

As things stand, property owners feel like they're in the dark.

"If their appeal was rejected, county officials must give a detailed explanation," Tarte says. "I don't know one person who's had that information shared. They're just told no, sorry.

The new panel Tillis put together is comprised of officials and property owners, and it met for the first time in Raleigh on Thursday.