"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
On January 1st 2011, Mecklenburg County reappraised property valuations for tax purposes.
They got a good deal of those revaluations wrong.
And now, a year later, the county is still holding on to money it never should have collected in the first place.
We think that is outrageous.
At first, county officials did not want to admit their mistakes, despite passionate pleas from thousands of homeowners begging them to take another look.
People – some of them at risk of losing their homes – even provided proof that the calculations could not be correct.
And they weren't.
County officials could not deny that charge, and others, after a third-party, Pearson's Appraisal Service, finally launched an investigation – hired, by the way, on your dime.
As a result, Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor Garrett Alexander lost his job.
But there are still no plans to repay homeowners, or to re-do the revaluation.
Instead, we hear talk of retaining Pearson's for more insight…of adjusting rates down the road.
Well commissioners – that's not good enough.
If we owed the county taxes, it would charge us interest every day until we paid up.
And that's just one reason why officials need to find a way to issue refunds to residents they wronged as quickly as possible.
Cleaning up this mess may not be easy, but the county must stop acting like it's an option.
Because WBTV is "On Your Side," we encourage everyone to "Speak Out" – tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.