11/21/10 — County officially OKs schedule of values

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County officially OKs schedule of values

By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 21, 2010 1:50 AM

Wayne County commissioners took a second vote on the county's proposed schedules of real property values this week while urging tax officials to once again explain to the public what the schedules represent.

The decision was unanimous in favor of the schedules -- just as it had been during two previous votes.

County Attorney Borden Parker apologized to commissioners, telling them he had given "bad advice" at the last meeting. Parker said he had forgotten a stipulation in state law that instructs that the vote on the schedule of values be taken at the meeting following the public hearing.

Tax Administrator David Ward and Assistant Tax Administrator Alan Lumpkin reminded commissioners and the public that the schedules are nothing more than base cost figures and cannot be used by themselves to determine the tax value of any specific piece of property.

The schedules comprise a manual that gives appraisers a starting point as to how to value a home, they said. Lumpkin said someone could pick up the schedules five years from now and use them to help value property.

Copies of the schedules are available for public inspection in the tax office on the first floor of the county courthouse annex, Ward said.

However, he reminded the public again that they cannot use the values to assign a value to their property. Many other components, such as the age and condition of the property as well as its location, factor into determining the value, he said.

Appraisers are currently working throughout the county looking at property and deciding on values.

The tax office will mail out the new appraised property values once all of the appraisals are completed. People can expect to receive their new values in late March or early April.

Each notice will include a form for filing an appeal with the tax office. If the tax office does not adjust the value, then the person may appeal to county commissioners sitting as the Board of Equalization and Review.

The next step would be an appeal to the N.C. Property Tax Commission and finally the courts.

The notice will provide the value of the property only. The taxes due will not be determined until county commissioners set a tax rate when the budget is adopted in June.

Ward and Lumpkin agreed that property values have increased since the last countywide revaluation in 2003 and that values have dipped during the recession. However, the values still have not fallen to what they were in 2003, they said.

For example, the current value for a single-family home during the 2003 revaluation is $55. It will increase to $70 under the new schedule.

Lumpkin again suggested that property owners "do their homework" by educating themselves about the value of their property before receiving their new value in the spring.

Four notices about the schedule of values will be published over a two-month period. The first was published on Nov. 17 . The notice will be published again on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 and 8.

Dec. 17 is the final day the schedules can be appealed.

In other business Tuesday, no one spoke during a public hearing that lasted less than two minutes on changes to the subdivision ordinance.

The changes were recommended by the county Planning Board and required commissioners' approval to become effective.

The approved changes include:

* Increasing the number of preliminary plat prints from six to eight and provides the option of submitting digital instead of the paper copies.

* Adding Wayne County Cooperative Extension Service, Wayne County Emergency Services and Wayne County Board of Education to the agencies that receive copies of preliminary plats.

* After the initial review by the Planning Department, increases the number of corrected black or blue line prints, complete with corrections, from nine to 14.

* Requiring the subdivider to provide 15 paper copies, along with a digital copy, for approval by commissioners.

* Decreasing the number of blue or black line copies of the original final plat from six to two and provides the option of submitting digital instead of the paper copies.

* After the initial review by the Planning Department, increases from nine to 14 the number or blue or black line paper prints complete with corrections.

* Requiring the subdivider to provide 15 paper copies of the final plat, along with a digital copy, for approval by commissioners.

The proposals also would require that preliminary and final plats include water distribution lines and fire hydrant locations and dimensions.

Commissioners also approved three subdivision plats that had been recommended for approval by the county Planning Board at its meeting last week.

The plats are:

* Frederick and Patricia White final, three lots on the east side of Antioch Loop Road in Pikeville Township.

* Stacy E. Whittington final, one lot on the south side of Bartlett Road in Pikeville Township.

* Kenneth Coor Jr. final, two-lot revision on the south side of Old Smithfield Road in Pikeville Township. The revision was required after it was discovered that a house on one of the lots had been built over an access right of way.