Mecklenburg County taking new steps to avoid re-evaluation debacle

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County Tax assessor Ken Joyner is hoping to get ahead of the pushback that dogged the office he now heads during the last property re-evaluation in 2011.

"It will be much easier for property owners to understand. It will help us with consistency," Joyner said at the annual retreat for county commissioners Thursday.

Values on homes were inconsistent, taxpayers found themselves up in arms, and the process drew the ire of several commissioners including at-large member Pat Cotham.

"I think it's an understatement to say that I was upset," Cotham told WBTV. "We had an enormous amount of people in our community that we wronged."

Cotham is among those paying close attention to new steps being carried out to make sure procedures are fair and equitable. District Two's Vilma Leake wants the same thing.

She told the governing body, "What bothers me to some degree, because we're talking about the haves and the have-nots, and in my neighborhood, the housing rating isn't going to be as high as across town."

Joyner says steps are underway to keep things transparent, including a new website designed to ensure accessibility - and that's not all.

In recent weeks, county staffers have been going from neighborhood to neighborhood in an attempt to keep homeowners in the loop. At-Large Commissioner Trevor Fuller is on board with the changes.

"We've got a lot more tools to make it fair for people, and that's what people want," Fuller said.

County administrators feel it's returning to basics.

"We're going back to course 101, and trying to ensure that we're doing everything textbook - the way it should be done," Joyner said.

Tax bills under the system will be released in the summer of 2019.

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