I’ve gotten my revaluation notice. What’s next?

A guide to Chatham County’s reappraisal process

CN+R STAFF REPORTS
Posted 4/7/21

Why have parcels of property been appraised and revalued?

North Carolina law requires all counties to conduct a reappraisal at least once every eight years. Chatham County is on a four-year …

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I’ve gotten my revaluation notice. What’s next?

A guide to Chatham County’s reappraisal process

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Why have parcels of property been appraised and revalued?

North Carolina law requires all counties to conduct a reappraisal at least once every eight years. Chatham County is on a four-year reappraisal cycle, as are most larger counties in the state. Reappraisals distribute the overall property tax burden equitably across the county based on updated fair market values. The new market values, based on a Jan. 1, 2021, date, will be used by Chatham’s county commissioners to set a county-only tax rate (currently at 67 cents per $100 valuation) and to calculate tax bills mailed each summer until the next reappraisal occurs.

How were the appraisals done?

Every parcel, whether it’s residential, commercial, agricultural or industrial, and every other privately owned piece of land, was visited by one of the staff of appraisers from Vincent Valuations, a contractor hired by Chatham County to perform the revaluation. In most cases, measurements were taken and any improvements — from an added structure such as a home or outbuilding to a new deck or concrete pad — were noted. Data entry was input into the company’s computer system within its temporary offices of the tax department, and then recent sales of properties in Chatham were analyzed and valuation models and schedules were built for the appraisals to make sure valuations reflected current market value. All appraisals were checked again before finalized; notices with new valuations were mailed March 26 to each Chatham parcel owner.

What is “market value”?

Market value is the most probable price a property would bring in an open and competitive market. There is evidence that market values around the county have changed in different ways since 2017, the last time that reappraisal occurred in Chatham County. Some areas of the county have seen an increase in market value, while others have experienced a decrease in value. Some areas are staying about the same.

What happens now?

The county has set aside the months of April through August to hear appeals from property owners who think the reappraisal of their property is too high or too low. Chatham has established a Board of Equalization and Review — made up of community members appointed to hear appeals — to provide a method for property owners to challenge revaluations.

For residents who agree with the value, no response or action is needed. For those who disagree with their value, they may request an appeal after they have taken the opportunity to review and compare other properties using the tools and methods as outlined below.

How do I appeal my assessed value?

The deadline to appeal is 5 p.m. on May 6.

Residents who disagree with their reappraisal value may go to the Comparable Sales application (located at https://gisservices.chathamcountync.gov/taxrequest/) and review the information on file for their properties and report any outdated or incorrect information to the Chatham County Tax Office. On the county’s website, homeowners can compare their property value with the sale prices of similar properties.

If all information is up to date and there is still a disagreement with the assessed value, residents may file an appeal with the Board of Equalization and Review and schedule a hearing. Appeals may be filed at https://gisservices.chathamcountync.gov/taxrequest. After the Board of Equalization and Review hears the appeal, the resident will receive written notification of his or her property value in the mail.

Residents can support their appeal with the following: Comparable sales or comparable sales reports from the property owner, Chatham County’s online sales database or a real estate professional; pictures showing the property’s inner and outer features and condition, including any upgrades; a copy of a recent fee appraisal for the property, such as one done in connection with the purchase or refinance of the property.

What will my tax bill be? Will it go up because my property value increased?

The amount of the final 2021 tax bill cannot be determined until the tax rate is established. The tax rate is determined annually by the Chatham County taxing jurisdictions based on their budget needs.

I’m curious about recent property sales. How can I check out property sales data?

The Chatham County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department has launched the Comparable Sales application, an interactive mapping application which can be used to explore recent property sales data within Chatham County. Residents may enhance understanding of their property’s tax appraisal value by examining sales of properties that are similar to their own. The application provides several tools and accompanying documentation to simplify the task of real estate research within the county.

This application features property sales data from January 1, 2019, to January 1, 2021. It also includes current tax parcel information, reference mapping layers and aerial photography. The application is available on the GIS website at https://chathamncgis.maps.arcgis.com/home/index.html. The GIS and Tax Departments are also collaborating to develop a few additional applications including a GIS Hub Site that will centralize access to tax-related GIS applications. The direct link for the application is https://gisservices.chathamcountync.gov/propertysales.

A demo video is available for more information on how the application works. The demonstration video direct link is https://gisservices.chathamcountync.gov/propertysales/demo.

Are there any tax relief programs available?

There are tax relief programs for the elderly or disabled: the disabled veteran exclusion, circuit breaker property tax deferment and the present use value tax deferral program. Residents may go to www.chathamcountync.gov/taxrelief and click on the property tax assistance evaluator to check qualifications for a tax relief program.

When will Chatham County’s new tax rate be set?

Commissioners are scheduled to work on the county’s 2021-22 budget in work sessions scheduled for May 20, 21 and 25. The county must adopt a budget — which includes establishing an ad valorem, or property, tax rate — before the new fiscal year begins July 1.

What if I still have questions?

Questions about the reappraisal process may be directed to the Tax Office at 919-542-8211 or tax.revaluation@chathamcountync.gov.

- CN+R Staff Reports, Chatham County Government

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