WHAT IS A REVALUATION?
A revaluation is a program undertaken by our county to appraise all real property within the taxing district according to its full and fair value. Revaluation is a “revenue neutral” process. This simply means that even though some homes may see an increase in their property valuation, it doesn’t mean that the tax bill will increase.
WHAT IS MEANT BY FULL AND FAIR VALUE?
Full and fair value is the price at which the tax assessor believes a property would sell at a fair and bona fide sale by a private contract of the pretax year. The sale must be between a willing buyer and a willing seller. For example, the buyer is not obligated to buy, and the seller is not obligated to sell.
WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR A REVALUATION?
A revaluation program seeks to spread the tax burden equitably within a municipality. Real property must be assessed at the same standard of value to ensure that every property owner is paying his or her fair share of the property tax. For example, two properties having essentially the same market value should be paying essentially the same amount in property taxes. Inequitable assessments result from the following situations:
- Changes is characteristics in areas or neighborhoods within the Municipality and within individual properties;
- Fluctuations in the economy (inflation, recession);
- Changes in style and custom (desirability of architecture, size of house);
- Changes in zoning which can either enhance or adversely affect value;
- Delays in processing building permits which delay tax assessments on new construction.
WHAT HAS TO BE DONE DURING A REVALUATION PROGRAM?
Both the interior and exterior of each property are usually physically inspected, and building dimensions are noted during the revaluation process. In addition, recent sales of properties are studied and may be adjusted to estimate the value of property that has not been sold. Property typically purchased for investment purposes is analyzed in terms of its income-producing capability. In short, all information believed to have an influence on value will be gathered, reviewed and analyzed in order to make a proper determination of each property’s full and fair value.
By now all of us have been notified by the County Tax Assessor’s Office of the revaluation of our homes. Some of you may have already taken the opportunity to setup a meeting with the County Tax Office to discuss your revaluations. If not, and not sure what to do, it is recommended to reach to the County and speak with one of their staff members to help discuss any of your concerns with your assessment. Our Mayor has been in direct with Robyn Glocker-Hammond, the County Tax Assessor, about the data being shared.
Based on the conversation our Mayor has had with Mrs. Glocker-Hammond, all residents signed up for an appeal should be prepared to provide this information:
- Bring specific “interior” info about your home if no interior inspection was done.
- Have knowledge of what equivalent houses (especially in your neighborhood) sold for in the last 12-18 months.
- Face the reality that the new valuation should now reflect what you could sell your house for right now (actually as of last October 1st). If you don’t like your increase but the new valuation is correct, you shouldn’t expect it to be reduced.