Reappraisal notices mailed; county unveils tool to compare residential sales

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PITTSBORO — Chatham County would like to update residents regarding the reappraisal process which has been underway since January 2019. Reappraisal notices were mailed to residents on March 26.

Reappraisal Process and Key Points

Reappraisal is a process in which all real property (including land and the improvements on it) in the county is appraised at its current market value as of a particular date. State law requires all counties to conduct a reappraisal at least once every eight years. Chatham County elected to do a four-year reappraisal cycle. Reappraisal distributes the overall property tax burden equitably across the county based on current market values.

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. For residents who agree with the value, no response 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.

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

Comparable Sales Application available

The Chatham County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department has launched the Comparable Sales application, which is an interactive mapping application that 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.

“This application is unique in that it features both property sales and tax appraisal data tied to our GIS parcels,” said GIS Director Nick Haffele. “This data is exposed to a variety of new, unique tools that we are featuring for the first time in a GIS application. In the past residents could access tabular information on comparable sales through the U.S. Tax Data website, but the data was grouped only by tax neighborhood and contained no mapping component. The new application uses more refined criteria to identify comparable sales and allows residents to easily visualize sales happening in their surrounding area on a map.”

The application is available on the GIS homepage. The GIS and Tax Departments are also collaborating to develop a few additional applications including a GIS Hub Site which will centralize access to tax-related GIS applications. The direct link for the application is https://gisservices.chathamcountync.gov/propertysales.

Chatham County GIS has been able to leverage its existing GIS software licensing to create these services at no additional cost to the county. The collaborative effort with the Chatham County Tax Department has resulted in an application that meets the needs of both staff and the general public.

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.

Appealing Assessed Values

Residents who disagree with their reappraisal value may go to the Comparable Sales application and review the information on file for their properties and report any outdated or incorrect information to the Tax Office. 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 their property value in the mail.

Residents can support their appeal with the following steps: 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. The deadline to appeal is 5 p.m. on May 6, 2021.

Tax Relief Programs

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.

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

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