Report in on controversial 2011 Mecklenburg Co. revaluation - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Report in on controversial 2011 Mecklenburg Co. revaluation

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A small measure of vindication today for taxpayers in Mecklenburg County who knew the 2011 revaluations were wrong.

Pearson's Appraisal Service, the firm hired by Mecklenburg County Commissioners to review the controversial 2011 revaluations, delivered a report on the findings.

According to the review there were "instances of inequity or erroneous data".  But the report found that "overall the valuations are acceptable".

To see the full report, click here.

The report will be used for future revaluations *not* to redo the 2011 revaluation.

The outside review focused on equity in more than 150 randomized neighborhoods, validity of sales analysis and equity in 50 neighborhoods with the highest land value increase, and accuracy of property data in 375 randomized property record cards.

Pearson's says it wanted to find out if county appraisers complied with the law when conducting the revaluation. The group also looked at the project's management and the appeal's process.

Some findings:

- 15 of 151 neighborhoods had major issues of equity.

- 20 of 52 neighborhoods with high land value increases had major issues. That's approximately 40%. The review found that neighborhoods that high land value typically had problems.

Recommendations:

- Pearson's says the county needs to fix neighborhoods with major issues, including requiring field visits.

- inequities in improvement values. Some were assessed too high and others too low.

Appeals Process:

- informal appeals process was ineffective at addressing residents' concerns

- taxpayers who attended public meetings expressed "major frustration"

The review found the revaluation was "conducted" in compliance with state law but more time was needed for more difficult properties. Pearson's found a lack of quality control - unlisted dwellings and garages inconsistently listed.

For future revaluations, the review says taxpayers should be allowed to speak with appraisers, managers should sample work from all appraisers and check for consistent techniques, and update construction costs from local markets before the next revaluation.

According to the report, residents should be given an option of face to face appeals. Pearson's says "people want to sit down and talk.... and that the office should listen and learn".

The review says neighborhoods where 50% of the properties are being appealed should be reviewed by project management.

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