Leaders should do more with reval
by Staff Writer
I’d like to send this message to the mayors and commissioners of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville:
As you all know, the citizens of Mecklenburg County have been challenging the 2011 revaluation. The impact on residents has been clearly stated for more than a year, marked by emails, petitions and large turnouts at county commissioners’ meetings and at the review public meetings.
The stories are essentially the same: land values massively in error, lack of adequate or accurate availability of information to those appealing, poor and abusive treatment by the Board of Equalization and Review and a record number of appeals to the State Property Tax Commission.
So what are you going to do about this? There has been complete public silence from Huntersville and Davidson, and a letter and poorly delivered resolution from Cornelius. That’s it! Meanwhile, each town is basking in a flood of higher tax revenues mainly due to the invalid increases in property values.
We have appeared at town board meetings multiple times and pleaded for support for this effort. You have a duty to stand up for the rights of your residents.
• Attend these public meetings and see for yourselves what is going on (Mayor Jeff Tarte and Mayor Pro Tem Rinker attended in Cornelius).
• Support Commissioner Karen Bentley and the other commissioners standing up for your residents.
• Work with N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, the State Department of Revenue and other state agencies.
• Insist that special consideration be given by the county to the elderly and infirm who are being forced out of their homes because they have not been able to appeal their property values. Insist the Board of Equalization and Review grant formal hearings for those residents.
• Insist that the Citizen’s Revaluation Advisory Committee meetings be scheduled and be open to the public.
• Monitor the progress of the review to assure it is conducted in a fair and open manner.
• Assess the results of the review and support those recommendations that would provide relief to beleaguered residents. Challenge that review if it is incomplete or inaccurate.
• Support the adoption of important changes when those changes are considered by the county commission.
There are five citizens carrying this load with the support of almost 1,000 people. This is a heavy burden and patently unfair. So how about pitching in?
– Jim Bensman, former Cornelius commissioner