Survey: County assessors overvalued Cornelius properties
by Staff Writer
CORNELIUS – A survey conducted by former Commissioner Jim Bensman found that Mecklenburg County tax assessors overvalued Cornelius properties on average by 30 to 40 percent during the most recent tax revaluation.
Landowners unhappy about the recent county tax revaluations packed the Community Room at Town Hall to hear the results Tuesday night, Dec. 6.
“This all started with people receiving some pretty outrageous bills and not getting any feedback,” former Commissioner Jim Bensman said at an introduction to the meeting. “Over 25 percent of the property value in Cornelius is under appeal and the town is having difficulty obtaining more information from the assessor’s office,” Bensman wrote in an email.
Jerel Reavis, 60, of Huntersville, owns 1.16 acres located off West Catawba Ave., and is concerned that the county revalued his property arbitrarily. In March 2003, Reavis’ property was revalued $344,700. In March 2011, that number nearly doubled, jumping to $616,000.
“The increase has been kind of steady over the years but this last time it really went up,” he said.
Reavis isn’t alone in his concerns.
Cornelius resident Bob Elliot presented the results of a survey answered by Cornelius landowners, which showed the drastic changes in property revaluations over the past eight years.
Of the 18 residents who have commissioned a professional appraiser to review their county assessments, most saw their property increase in value by about 17 percent since the 2003 revaluation. However, the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office appraised the same properties 57 percent higher, according to Bensman’s survey.
Charlotte-based Attorney Chris Osborn spoke at length at the meeting on how residents can effectively handle the revaluation appeals process.
Residents were encouraged to band together at the appeals level, use the same attorney who is familiar with the area its neighborhoods and coordinate hearings at the same time in order share the expenses of driving back and forth between the state capitol.
See the survey
Property Revaluation Survey