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Jump in Wake Property Values Averages 43%; Tax Bills Could Follow

Posted November 16, 2007
Updated November 20, 2007

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— Wake County homeowners will have one less thing to be thankful for next week, as officials are preparing to distribute property revaluation notices.

Staff in the county Revenue Department have spent the past two years assessing the value of 325,000 residential and commercial properties across the county – about 90,000 parcels more than when the assessment was last conducted in 2000.

Growth in recent years has pushed property values up by an average of 43 percent, Revenue Director Emmett Curl said. Values jumped about the same amount between assessments in 1992 and 2000, he said.

The revaluation is needed to readjust the county's property tax structure to reflect changes in the market value of various properties, he said.

"Over time, you need to bring this back in line (as to) who pays the tax burden," Curl said.

The tax rate will be rolled back temporarily from 67.8 cents per $100 of assessed value to 53 cents per $100 of assessed value so the county doesn't receive a windfall from the revaluation.

The county's Board of Commissioners will reset the tax rate during next spring's budget process. The rate is expected to go up by at least 2 cents to pay for recently approved bond issues for green space, libraries and Wake Technical Community College.

Homeowners whose property increased in value less than 25 to 30 percent in recent years will likely see little change in their annual tax bill, Curl said. But some neighborhoods could see hefty tax increases because of skyrocketing property values, he said.

The first time property owners look at their revaluation, they may want to be sitting down.

"’Your thinking right now is?’ I am going to have a heart attack and die,” said property owner Jane Temple as she looked at her tax assessment online.

Property values inside the Interstate 440 Beltline have shot up by an average of 73 percent, for example. People who live near the newer sections of Interstate 540 north and east of Raleigh also could get hit by higher tax bills because the land has become more valuable, Curl said.

"Everyone knows that we are growing, and as we grow, the availability of the land shrinks. You're creating a shortage of supply, and therefore, prices are rising fairly dramatically," he said.

Chip Ackerman lives inside the Interstate 440 Beltline and his property value went up 65 percent.

"Whew, it is a bummer, but something we have to accept. There is nothing we can do about it,” Ackerman said.

Terry Lennon said he expects his neighborhood near North Hills will see a significant boost in assessed values and tax bills.

"The price of houses has just gone through the roof in this neighborhood," Lennon said. "I think we're all going to be in for a bit of a shock – sticker shock."

But he said the higher tax bills could squeeze long-time residents who live on fixed incomes.

"In a situation like this, you have to stop and think about what you're doing to the homeowners. I don't think you want to make up that entire difference in one big step," he said.

Wake County properties are revalued every eight years. While home values go up, the tax rate is typically decreased to keep tax bills from skyrocketing.

A committee recently suggested more frequent updates to property values and not decreasing the tax rate to create additional revenue.

“I think it will be done more often. I think it’s the fairest way to treat the taxpayers of Wake County. I think we do need to appraise values more frequently,” said Tony Gurley, the chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Over the next 25 years, such a change could raise more than $2 billion to help the county meet growth needs.

190 Comments

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  • RWC Nov 20, 2007

    They are putting all this news out early to slowly desensitize you to the idea of paying more taxes for "their" programs. I bet by the time December 2008 rolls around, you will have forgotten all this nonsense and just send your check.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 20, 2007

    ncmike

    The final amount is yet to be known. Commissioner Gurly mentioned a number of 53 cents per hundred. At my location I also have the fire district tax. Using those numbers and the new valuation shown on the web site my bill will be almost 500 dollars higher. I am being hit harder than some but less than others. Unless they roll back the per hundred rate even further I do not see how the county will not get more money. In fact they have to, The school system will be requesting a higher budget and I am sure all the other county agencies will want more money. Add to that the voters choose to add an additional 1.2 billion in debt I do not see any way for the county to not have a larger budget and a larger revenue stream out of all of our pockets.

  • imtiredofit Nov 20, 2007

    Looking at some of my neighbors property values that the assessors came up with, I don't feel so bad at a 66% jump, some of their values have jumped 300%. I have to believe that these clowns pulled these values out of thin air. What we need now is a proposition 13 like they did in California that will put a halt to this insanity. I'm ready to sign on to a movement that will do this.

  • OhYea Nov 20, 2007

    I think this is all well and good. However, I'd like to stay in my home after retirement. What have other areas done to keep from draining the elderly?

  • ncmike Nov 20, 2007

    So if you are all so right about your taxes going up and this not being revenue neutral, then the proof next year would be higher county tax revenue, right? But what if the county does not get higher revenue - who got their taxes cut and why? C'mon all you brilliant complainers out there - answer that one.

    Or does it all come down to your own greed?

    Mike

  • imtiredofit Nov 20, 2007

    I wish I would see just a 43% increase, I just looked at mine and it jumped 66%. I think we are being screwed over by the assessors and their wild calculations especially since the housing market has tanked.

  • dianadarling Nov 20, 2007

    i know i could not get what my value is. i would sell in a heartbeat if I could. but i am afraid to appeal, mine is the lowest in the neighborhood. i had a friend appeal once, and they found a fireplace they didn't know about and it actually went HIGHER after the appeal.

  • Squirreling Dervish Nov 20, 2007

    I looked at my reevaluation and it is the same picture from 1996, and IT ISN'T EVEN MY HOUSE!!
    Morons.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 20, 2007

    nick harris
    I think that comment was directed at the attitude of accepting whatever Government does is just something to shrug about say what are going to do. Your property value really comes down to what will someone pay you at the time of sale; not what the current assessment shows. It can do down, and depending on the circumstances it can actually collapse. Regardless, it is incumbent on us to demand the best services from Government at the best possible price point for those services. Schools represent over 3/4 of that current county budget. I would like to see a lot more focus in that area of finding ways to reduce cost while improving educational results. I favor a hybrid system - traditional public schools, charter schools; public private partnerships; and tuition tax credits to allow people to move their children from public schools to private. I believe that will be less costly and produce better results.

  • Nobody but Carolina Nov 20, 2007

    To be honest, mine worked out pretty fair. I had a 22.18% increase. The dollar amount is actually just about right on the amount I spent to emlargen my back deck, retractable awning and add a stone patio in back and walkway to the front of the house.

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