Jackson County, NC – 2011 Property Tax Notices

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Real Estate News | Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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In an effort to keep our clients informed about issues relating to their real estate holdings in the greater Cashiers, Sapphire, and Glenville areas of Jackson County, NC, below are the highlights concerning the 2011 Property Tax Notices that were recently mailed out. We hope this information answers most of your questions.

For all your real estate needs, feel free to call our team of full time real estate professionals at Silver Creek Real Estate Group. You can reach us at 828-743-1999 or by email at info@ncliving.com.

Tax Appeal Process Highlights

All property owners may appeal their property value each year during the specified appeal period. An informal appeal for the current tax year must be filed between January 1st and January 31st of each non-revaluation year.

•  An informal appeal is the first step in the appeal process. The person appealing the property value will need to contact the Tax Administration Office and request an appeal form. The taxpayer may also print the form at the link below. The informal appeal must be completed and returned by January 31st. The appeal should include information to support the property owner’s opinion of value.
•  Once the appeal is received, a tax department appraiser will review all submitted information, area property values, and comparables sales from the date range of January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2007.
•  The result of informal review is mailed to the property owner in a formal letter stating if there is an increase, decrease or no change to the property value.
•  The appellant should submit the formal appeal form by the specified date provided on the form.
 Link to form: Informal Appeal Form

How to Complete the Informal Appeal Form:
Reason for appeal: Explain why you think the value is incorrect.

Your opinion of value can be supported by any of the following items:
•  Comparable property sales within the date range of January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007.
•  Fee appraisal with comparable sales in the date range listed above.
•  Photos showing condition of property or other factors that affect the value.
•  Any other information that will establish the value of this property.

According to NC General Statute 105-287, the property owner has the burden of proving that the property under appeal is incorrectly valued. The tax bill amount and the ability to pay the tax cannot be used as a valid reason for an appeal. The value of your property has been developed from sales and cost data within your local area. If the property owner thinks the value is incorrect please provide the tax office with a valid reason to adjust your assessment. Please refer to the attachment below which provides some scenarios that might assist you in your appeal decision.
Explanation of Value
On January 1, 2008 Jackson County implemented the latest real property revaluation assessment as required by North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) 105-286. The assessment values were obtained using a massive database of cost and sales information gathered by the County. This document, which is approved by the Board of County Commissioners and the State of North Carolina, is called the “Schedule of Values”. The legal time frame for acquiring data and information for this revaluation process was January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2007.  Once this “Schedule of Values” is adopted, all real property within the County must be appraised by this schedule.  All new structures, as well as all new land parcels created by dividing or combining tracts of real estate must be appraised using this 2008 Schedule of Values. By law, (NCGS 105-286(2)(c), this statement will hold true until the next projected revaluation goes into effect in 2013.

Scenarios that might make this a clearer picture:

Q: What if a property owner obtains a new individual certified appraisal for his/her property after the January 1, 2008 implementation date. Can this appraisal be used to adjust the current assessed value placed on the property by the County Assessor?
A: Only if the sale dates for the comparables used in the appraisal are prior to January 1, 2008.

Q: A property owner pays $179,900 for a house and lot on February 1, 2009.  The current assessment placed on the property by the County Assessor using the 2008 Schedule of Values is $212,000.  Can the property owner appeal to the County Assessor to lower the value based on his/her 2009 sales price?
A: NO. The current sales price does not fall within the date range of January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2007 for which the sales data for the Schedule of Values was collected.

Q: Is there any reasons for which property values might be adjusted in a non-revaluation year?
A: Yes.  North Carolina General Statute 105-287 is very specific about those reasons.  The assessed value could go up or down based on any such reasons.  Examples for such changes:
•  House burned down
•  Built new house
•  Added additional square footage to existing house
•  Property adversely affected by natural disaster
•  Infrastructure (water, sewer, etc) added to property
•  Reclassification of a land parcel such as residential to commercial or vice-versa

*Any positive or negative factors related to the economy and/or the real estate market cannot be considered as reasons to adjust current assessed value.  The impact of these factors will be reflected in the 2013 real property revaluation.

Appealing to the Board of Equalization and Review during a Non-Reappraisal Year
Any appeal to the board of equalization and review, or to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission, must provide evidence which clearly shows that the assessed value of the property under appeal has been appraised in excess of its market value, or has been assessed inequitably when compared to similar property. Examples of supporting and appropriate evidence include, but are not limited to, the following:
•  Independent fee appraisal of subject property, dated as of the effective date of the last general reappraisal, January 1, 2008, which indicates a substantial over-assessment;
•  Verified, arms-length sales of comparable property, from 2004 – 2007;
•  County Health Department notice stating the failure of the property to pass a required percolation test;
•  Written verification of any zoning change as of January 1;
•  Photographs depicting a physical condition not considered in the county’s assessment;
•  Any other factual-based document which clearly identifies the reason and basis for an adjustment of the listing and value

Ad valorem tax assessments are presumed to be correct, and when such assessments are challenged the burden of proof is on the taxpayer to show that the assessment is erroneous. N.C.G.S. 105-287 MAO/Pines Assocs. v. New Hanover County Bd. Of Equalization, 116 N.C. App. 551, 449 S.E. 2d 196 (1994)
Decisions regarding the market value of a particular property:
•  CANNOT be based on changes occurring in the general economy N.C.G.S. 105-287 (2);
•  CANNOT be based on the amount of increase from a prior year;
•  CANNOT be based on the economic ability of the owner to pay the anticipated tax;
•  CANNOT be based on personal sympathies towards any individual;
•  CANNOT be based on personal tastes or preferences;
•  CANNOT be based on actual or historical cost, insured value, construction cost, liquidation or salvage value, depreciated asset or book value, present-use value, aesthetic value, inheritance value, or condemnation value;
•  CANNOT be based on a post-octennial valuation sale N.C.G.S. 105-287 re Allred, 351 N.C. 1, 519 S.E. 2d 52 (1999), dated after December 31, 2007;
•  CANNOT be based on normal, physical depreciation of improvements N.C.G.S. 105-287 (1)

Property values may change in a non-reappraisal year for one of the following reason: N.C.G.S. 105-287
•  Correct a clerical or mathematical error;
•  Correct an appraisal error resulting from a misapplication of the schedules, standards, and rules used in the county’s most recent general reappraisal;
•  Recognize an increase or decrease in the value of the property resulting from a conservation or preservation easement;
•  Recognize an increase or decrease in the value of the property resulting from a physical change to the land or to the improvements on the land, other than a change for the betterment of the property, including, repainting buildings or other structures, terracing or other methods of soil conservation, landscape gardening, protecting forests against fire, or impounding water on marshland for non-commercial purposes to preserve or enhance the natural habitat of wildlife;
•  Recognize an increase or decrease in the value of the property resulting from a change in the legally permitted use of the property

Should there be any additional questions please feel free to contact our office using the contact information below.
Tabitha Ashe
828-586-7542
Email: tabithaashe@jacksonnc.org

Information courtesy of the Jackson County, NC Tax Office. For additional information please go to the Jackson County”s tax appeal website at: http://www.jacksonnc.org/tax-appeals-process.html.

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