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Wake County Appraisers Reassess Property Values

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RALEIGH — Wake County appraisers are reassessing property values, which could result in an increase in residents' property tax bill.

Wake County revenue officials are halfway through their process of revaluating homes for the first time in eight years. But while overall assessments will probably be higher next year, not everyone's tax bill will go up.

Appraiser Bob Pearson compared the homes in one Raleigh neighborhood to the Wake County records to determine the fair market value come the year 2000.

"Generally, we just want to make sure that our information is as accurate as possible so that everybody pays a fair tax," Pearson said.

To do that, the county is adjusting assessed values for the first time since 1992. And with the booming housing market in Wake County, the values will most likely increase.

The average price of single family homes in Wake County has gone up 37 percent since 1992. Condos and townhouses have gone up more than 50 percent.

"We anticipate assessments will be greater overall than they are today," says Emmitt Curl, Wake County revenue director.

How much more? The exact numbers will not be released until November, but residents may not have to worry about an increase in taxes.

Officials say Wake County commissioners hold the key to the amount of tax bills with the tax rate they set every year. And the goal is to keep the county's revenue the same in a re-evaluation year as the year before.

So if assessments go up, then theoretically, tax rates should come down. "In theory, that is correct," Curl said.

In fact, the last time there was a re-evaluation in 1992, the tax rate came down significantly.


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