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Cumberland homeowners steamed over revaluation

Posted March 5, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Complaints have been pouring into the Cumberland County tax collector's office all week after a revaluation sent property assessments up by as much as 30 percent.

The revaluation notices arrived in homeowners' mailboxes last weekend. Through Wednesday, 886 people called the tax collector's office to complain.

Property revaluation Revaluation prompts flood of complaints

"I didn't think it was right," Rosa Gore said after noticing the assessed value of her home jumped by 30 percent.

"If I was able to move out of that property and sell that property for the amount that they evaluated it, I would be very happy," Gore said.

Tax Administrator Aaron Donaldson said Cumberland County's last revaluation in 2003 led to the same kind of response. Six years ago, assessed property values increased by an average of 15 percent, he said.

"Home values prior to our 2003 revaluation were fairly stable, but 2004, 2005, 2006 and even 2007 were particularly strong years for our market," Donaldson said. "We experienced quite a bit of appreciation during that time."

County property appraisers have assessed all 128,598 properties over the past two to three years, and Donaldson said the higher assessed values in this year's revaluation reflect the healthy real estate market in the Fayetteville area.

Unlike many markets across the country where real estate prices have plummeted in the past year, growth at Fort Bragg has kept the Fayetteville market stable.

"Even though there's been a dip in the economy in the last several months, we still have had a healthy increase in the home values," Donaldson said.

Property owners have a month to appeal their new assessed values. They can send an appeal in the mail, or go to the Cumberland County Courthouse and talk to representatives of the tax collector's office in person.

"I got the appeal ready, and I'm going in there to tell them I want to speak about it," Gore said. "I’m here to let them know I have checked it, and I think they’ve gotten me overrated.”

The tax rate for Cumberland County is 86 cents per $100 valuation, but the county Board of Commissioners could roll that back this spring to reflect the higher assessed values.

The Board of Commissioners would like to enact a revenue-neutral tax rate for next year, meaning it would take in as much money as it does now, but Commissioner Breeden Blackwell said it's too soon to say that will happen.

“I think the board wants to do it, but I think that would be premature to say we’ll lower the rate," Blackwell said. “The revenue picture is too murky."

For example, he said, county officials are still waiting to see how much sales tax they will receive from the holiday shopping season.


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  • roncorey1 Mar 11, 2009

    Stop whining all you people!!! The Fayetteville market is doing ALOT better than others. More and more active duty and DOD civilians are coming to Ft. Bragg and everything will be allright. You should be happy that your properties have retained value. Claim it on your federal tax returns and shut up!


  • Eightball Mar 5, 2009

    Does anyone believe otherwise but that they see a coming deficit, and are squeezing the 'golden goose' accordingly?
    Keep it up, Cumberland County officials, and then act surprised when you are voted out of office next election. Taxpayers are tired of being squeezed due to your fiscal irresponsibility. This citys, states, and nations elected leaders believe that they can continually go back and take yet more & more of the producing peoples assets. The gravy train will derail at some point.

  • affirmativediversity Mar 5, 2009

    m0nky posted, "...even if it went down in 2008, that doesn't mean that the values are back below what the tax evaluations were the last time they did it. so there very well may be an increase.
    and where the heck did you pull the Obama Administration from? take your conspiracy theories elsewhere please."


    To your first point: Did you read your post? Do you want to stick with your "the values went down;but the didn't go down from before" theory? If you do, maybe you can explain to me your theory on "values being down from where they were in the future"...duh!

    Second: No conspiracy theory...again...think about what your posted. Unless you don't mind appearing silly. The "mortgages underwater" story was a DIRECT reference/propaganda to President OBAMA's much beloved "MORTGAGE BAIL OUT".

    Be honest there was a bit of a conflict with these two stories. I mearly pointed that contradiction out. You can't have it both ways. Either its gloom and doom or its not!

  • babyboomer47 Mar 5, 2009

    "Some Property values increased as much as 30%.....".

    Just be thankful that you do not live on Lake Gaston in Northampton County. NH county reevaluated lake front property for 2007 taxes (at the top of the real estate bubble) and property values increased 257% or more. The values on off shore property stayed the same and the county decreased the tax rate from 88 cents per $100 to 78 cents per $100. The tax payers with waterfront property pay more than double what they paid prior to 2007 and everyone else in the county got a decrease in property taxes. Many people on fixed incomes are trying to sell their lakefront property but have been unable to do so due to the economy. NH County Manager Wayne Jenkins said lakefront property owners must pay for their view of a lake when they look out their windows because he has to look at a peanut field when he looks out his windows. The Lake Gaston property in NH county is not worth what the county has valued it and they are not going to adjust.

  • elmer Mar 5, 2009

    guess we will have to pay it. had to have propery subdivided in order to put trailer and house on it 6 acres. the county comm.let the install 2 trailer parks less than 1 mile from my property . both should be condemed they do what they want and we get nothing in return no county water system or sewer systerm .have to pay twice to take trash to dumpster open only when they want it open pay twice on storm water run off even if it will take more than 40 days and nights to flood don't some of you want to move here and help us with our taxes, i don't think there will be a stimulis check for this

  • elmer Mar 5, 2009

    I live here in cumberland county The revaluation is real will have to pay it i guess. I probaly would not mind it as much if i were getting anything for it. I had to subdived a 6 acher plot in order to put a house and a house trailer on the propety.now i have to pay twice to dump my trash in a canister about 4 miles away, i have to pay twice for storm water runoff. they used to send a small truck out to spray for sketters and now they don't do that any more. more that my taxes don't by is a county water and sewer system. more for less seems to be the way for cumberland county. county gets more the people get less

  • m0nky Mar 5, 2009

    those things you quoted are not mutually exclusive. some property went up while others fell. its a simple observation. and its 2009. the article states that the property value increased from 2004 to 2007. even if it went down in 2008, that doesn't mean that the values are back below what the tax evaluations were the last time they did it. so there very well may be an increase.

    and where the heck did you pull the Obama Administration from? take your conspiracy theories elsewhere please.

  • affirmativediversity Mar 5, 2009

    HOLY COW WRAL...do you have anyone still working in an editorial capacity?

    One headline is about Mortgages being "UNDERWATER"...here's a quote for YOUR OWN ARTICLE:
    "... and 20 percent in Fayetteville have mortgages that are underwater."

    SO which is it...Are 20% of Fayetteville mortgages "underwater" OR does Fayetteville have "a stable real estate market" that justifies a 30% increase in property taxes through "RE EVALUATION"

    Ask some questions, for goodness sake! Stop being a PROPAGANDA RAG spinning whatever the Obama Administration hands you for the day!