City: Review tax reappraisal process


City: Review tax reappraisal process
May 04
06:00 2017



The Winston-Salem City Council would like to see changes in the way the county does real estate property tax reappraisals.

The council unanimously passed a resolution asking for an evaluation of the reappraisal process by the Board of Equalization and Review, which reviews appeals to the reappraisal process. Residents were still encouraged to file repeals on their individual properties if they feel the reappraisal value is inaccurate.

The resolution by City Council Member Derwin Montgomery, who is a part of a group that recently purchased The Chronicle, questioned if the process accurately accesses the value of properties in African-American communities.

“Although the majority of properties rose in value, there are certain neighborhoods and communities where the reappraisal process is much more challenging,” said Montgomery.

The county does reappraisals every four years, using qualified real estate sales in an area and the condition of properties to estimate their value. Reappraisals were controversial in 2013 when a downturn in the real estate market caused 90 percent of properties to lose value. This year, 70 percent of properties saw some increase, but Montgomery said that there’s an inordinate amount of properties in black communities that saw drops similar to 2013.

The resolution said that some properties are being sold for below market value and are then being rented by tenants at a higher amount, and asks that this “lease value” be considered in the reappraisal process. It also asks the board to examine other parts of the process, like how homes are evaluated on their exteriors unless there’s an appeal.

Other City Council members agreed the process should be looked into. Denise “D.D.” Adams said there should be a different metric to measure property values in the urban core. Vivian Burke said she didn’t believe property values in East Winston reflected the work that went into the homes there, adding that her own yard “looks like a golf course.” She blamed real estate practices for depressing home values.

“I think it’s a disgrace and a shame we allow investors to come through and assault our neighborhood like they have,” said Burke. City Council Member Jeff MacIntosh, who’s worked in real estate for more than 30 years, cautioned that generally different methods of appraisal come to similar conclusions on value.

“I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up about there being major, significant rises in value based on the difference in appraisal methods,” said MacIntosh.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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