On March 5, 2021, Union County began sending out notices to real property owners – both residential and commercial – with their newly reassessed property values.
The Union County Assessor’s Office relies on sales data of more than 30,000 sales of real property across the county since the most recent county-wide revaluation in 2015 to determine the reassessed values of Union County properties. Vann Harrell, the Union County Tax Administrator, explained that property values have sharply risen in Union County since the 2016 revaluation, with a total valuation increase of 35.6%.
Union County is required by law to establish the market value of every parcel of real property in the county every eight years, but the county has the discretion to conduct revaluations more frequently and typically conducts the reappraisal process every six years. Unless you physically alter your property or appeal the assessment, the value assigned by the county this year will apply until the next revaluation cycle in 2027.
Determining Whether to File a Property Tax Appeal
If you believe the value assigned to your property is higher than its fair market value, you should move quickly to appeal the valuation.
Generally, commercial properties have higher fair market values than residential properties. This fact, together with the sharp rise in property values noted by Mr. Harrell, should prompt commercial property owners to review sales of comparable properties in the county and consider filing an appeal. BDP attorneys and property tax law gurus John Cocklereece and Justin Hardy have published their 2021 Guide to NC Commercial Property Tax Revaluation, which is an excellent resource to help you consider the pros and cons of an appeal.
How to File a Union County Property Tax Appeal
Property tax appeals begin with an informal review process, which you can initiate by completing a simple appeal form within 30 days of receiving the revaluation notice from the county. You can also contact the Assessor’s Office directly to ask questions about the appeal process.
If your informal appeal is denied, you can file a formal appeal with the Union County Board of Equalization and Review (the “BER”). The BER is made up of five Union County residents who meet from April 1st to May 27th to hear appeals from Union County property owners. In order to have your appeal heard, you must file it by May 27, 2021.
If the BER rejects your arguments, you can appeal its decision to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission. While an informal appeal to the Union County Assessor’s Office and formal appeals to the BER are commonly made by taxpayers without the assistance of an attorney, an appeal to the Property Tax Commission is much more likely to be successful after consultation with legal counsel.