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April 18, 2024

Commission Chairman addresses reappraisal concerns

Marty Pennell

Most property owners in Alexander County have now received their reappraisal notice in the mail from the Alexander County Tax Office. Property values increased countywide by an average of 54 percent.

NC General Statutes require a reappraisal at least once every eight years, which is the schedule adopted by Alexander County. The last reappraisal was conducted in 2015.

Marty Pennell, Chairman of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners, said he understands that many citizens are upset about the increased values and are worried about an increase in property taxes.

“While most people aren’t likely planning to sell their property, these updated property values are indicative of what their property is currently worth. Property is like an investment; the higher the value, the more it’s worth to you,” said Pennell, who is also serving as Interim County Manager. “I just want our citizens to understand that the percentage by which their property value increased doesn’t mean they’ll pay that same increase in property taxes.”

Commissioners will begin the 2023-2024 budget planning process in the coming weeks and will take the increased property values into account when discussing a new property tax rate. The current tax rate is 79 cents per $100 valuation.

Chairman Pennell said he envisions a decrease in the property tax rate as commissioners discuss the 2023-2024 budget.

“As Commission Chairman, I expect the board to have some serious discussions during the budget process with the end goal of adjusting the tax rate to ease the tax burden on our citizens while continuing to move Alexander County forward,” said Pennell.

By state statute, commissioners must have a new budget in place by July 1, 2023. The budget is expected to be presented to the Board of Commissioners on May 1, with a public hearing on May 15, and adoption on June 5.

“Rest assured that your commissioners have citizens’ best interests at heart,” said Pennell. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we work on the budget and determine a new property tax rate.”

Within 15 days of receiving the reappraisal notice, property owners can file an informal appeal by completing the attached form or by calling (828) 352-7581 to schedule an appointment with a tax office appraiser. The 2023 property value can be appealed if the assessed value substantially exceeds the market value of the property or if the property has been appraised at a higher percentage of its true value than other similar properties. Property owners should note that an increase in value by itself is not a basis for appeal, according to the NC Property Tax Commission.

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