Property values to decrease with revaluation
by Meghann Evans
The county will see an overall decrease in property values of a little more than four percent with the 2013 revaluation, according to information presented by Tax Administrator Jake Oakley to the Stokes County Board of Commissioners on Monday night.
The drop in value would result in a loss of almost $730,000 to the county. At the current tax collection rate, this would require a tax increase of about 2 cents to remain revenue neutral, Oakley estimated.
Residents should expect to receive revaluation notices around the beginning of February. The commissioners will then establish a board of equalization and review, which will hear appeals in the spring. Oakley does not anticipate having many appeals since property values are going down in most cases, as they have in many areas of the state and nation.
With the revaluation, property values are reassessed to come back in line with current market values. The purpose is to keep a sales ratio, which compares the taxable value of the property to what it sells for, near 100 percent.
Oakley explained to the commissioners at a meeting last year that traditionally the further removed the county is from a revaluation year the further the ratio shifts to indicate an increase in property value. But property values have actually dropped around 4.15 percent overall in the county through this cycle.
This was a strange revaluation, Oakley noted, because the revaluation department had fewer sales than usual to analyze from the past four years. In an effort to make the information as current as possible, the department also started analyzing current realtor listings.
“It’s about as accurate as we can possibly get,” Oakley said Tuesday.
He had previously estimated the values would go down about 4.5 percent, but the number at the end of 2012 was slightly lower.
Commissioner Ronda Jones noted Monday that the result was not quite as bad as the county thought it would be.
In the city of King tax district, the assessed value is going down 5.28 percent, which could result in a loss of $98,000. This higher value loss is due to the majority of the parcels being house and lot, which receive more reductions than house and acreage. Walnut Cove values will only decrease 3.21 percent due to older commercial buildings that were already depreciated to the max. The revenue loss could be just above $11,000. The city of Danbury’s overall decrease is 7.38 percent — roughly $1,600. This is a direct result of a reduction for a subdivision, according to information in the revaluation report to the county board.
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