2009 REVALUATION INFORMATION
Current real property values are based on the 2009 schedule of values adopted by the Chatham County Commissioners.
Property owners who disagree with their property valuation had 15 days from the receipt of the notice to request an Informal Review. For more on the appeals process, click here.
2009 Schedule of Values: The Schedule of Values is a compilation of rules, standards, and values used in appraising property in Chatham County for the reappraisal effective January 1, 2009. You may view the 2009 Schedule of Values clicking here.
Questions: Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
STATE LAW REQUIREMENTS FOR REVALUATION
The property tax in North Carolina is governed by Subchapter II of Chapter 105 of the General Statutes of North Carolina also known as The Machinery Act. This Act guarantees all 100 North Carolina counties will administer the property tax under the same guidelines with a minimum of local discretion.
The Machinery Act requires each county to conduct a reappraisal of real property (land, buildings, and other improvements to the land) at least every eight (8) years. More frequent reappraisals may be conducted at the discretion of the Board of Commissioners. In 1998, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners resolved to appraise property every 4 years. The Act also requires the counties to appraise real property uniformly at its true value in money. True value in money is the price estimated in terms of money at which the property would change hands between a willing and financially able buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used (NCGS §105-283). Simply put, this means when two people trade land for money, both knowing what can and cannot be done with the land, and an agreement on the price is reached and the trade occurs, market value is established. Market value is not necessarily the price for which a realtor may list the land, nor is it the price for which a father may sell his son a piece of land. Market value is generally determined from sales between unrelated and unbiased buyers and sellers. This is commonly known as an "arms length" transaction.
You may feel this should have no effect on you because you may have owned your property for many years and it is not for sale. However, you will be affected because the Machinery Act requires counties to appraise real property uniformly. If comparable properties in your neighborhood are being sold in the $50,000 range and there are no significant differences in your property and the comparable properties, it is reasonable to believe your property may be worth in the $50,000 range. It would not be fair to assess taxes on neighbors who recently purchased their property at $50,000 and assess your property value at $20,000 because you paid $20,000 for the property twenty years ago.
WHY IS VALUE EQUITY SO IMPORTANT?
The primary goal of reappraisal is uniformity and fairness. The purpose of a reappraisal is NOT to increase revenues or to provide tax breaks, but to fairly, equally and uniformly appraise the real property at its true value in money.
Since ad valorem taxes (property taxes) are based on value, it is important to have all property valued periodically on a uniform basis, using a modern system of valuation. Because market value appraisals become the foundation for assessments, equalized values create equalized and uniform taxes. Equalization also creates a better tax climate in the community since each taxpayer is paying only his or her fair share. Real property in Chatham County was last reappraised in 2005. Personal property, such as automobiles, trucks, trailers, mobile homes (single wide), airplanes, boats, etc., are listed and appraised every year.
This difference in the way real property and personal property is valued has a profound effect on the amount of taxes you will pay after a reappraisal. For example, if the tax rate does not increase, then taxes levied on personal property generally decrease while taxes levied against real property generally increase.
Each subsequent year after a reappraisal, personal property bears more of the tax burden as real property appraisals are not updated annually, but are conducted every 4 years. Personal property appraisals are updated annually; therefore, an imbalance in the tax burden between real property and personal property occurs. A reappraisal will correct this imbalance and equalize the tax burden.
WHAT IS THE APPEAL PROCESS IF I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE VALUE?
After receiving the notice of your new values you believe the new value on the Reappraisal Notice is in excess of market value and you have information to support your position, there are a number of steps available in the administrative appeal process:
- You must first request an Informal Review. Fill out the appeal form that is attached to your revaluation notice and mail it to our office.
- After the Informal Review, if you still do not agree with the value, you may request a formal hearing conducted by the Chatham County County Board of Equalization and Review.
- If you disagree with the ruling by the Board of Equalization and Review, you may appeal to the N.C. Property Tax Commission. Click here for more information regarding appeals to the NC Property Tax Commission.
- If you still do not agree after exhausting these three levels of appeal, you can file an appeal with the N.C. Court of Appeals.
DOES REVALUATION MEAN THAT PROPERTY TAX BILLS WILL INCREASE?
Not necessarily. The appraised value of property is just one factor in determining your tax bill. The other key factor is the tax rate set by the Board of Commissioners and Town Boards in the county. Tax rates adopted by these boards will determine the amount of tax bills sent out in August and due by the end of the year. During revaluation years, officials may opt to adjust the tax rate to offset some or all of the impact of revaluation, especially if countywide values increase substantially.
The process for determining a tax rate is considerably difficult. Recently, local governments have been forced to make hard decisions affecting the property tax due to the withdrawal of Federal funding such as revenue sharing. Also, whenever property is exempted or excluded from the ad valorem tax base, the remaining taxable properties bear more of the tax burden.
BROCHURE ON REVALUATION: Click here to view the brochure.