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Mecklenburg County - Another Reval Review

by Kevin Baker, Atlanta, May 2016

 

A new report is making some officials in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina have misgivings about the $7 million spent to review the county's 2011 revaluation.

 

An appraisal consultant has determined that the county's revaluation process was actually more statistically correct than the work of a third-party company hired to review the reval.

 

Background

 

Mecklenburg County property owners pleaded with county commissioners to redo the 2011 revaluation, saying their property values were over inflated. Short of a redo, they asked for an outside firm to study the revaluation.

 

Pearson's Appraisal Services was hired to find out if county appraisers complied with the law. The group also looked at the county's management of the appeals process. Its report found there were "instances of inequity and erroneous data" and confirmed that the county relied too heavily on statistical models rather than sending an appraiser out in person.

 

Reviewing the Review

 

Virginia-based appraisal consultant Josh Myers researched both the county's 2011 revaluation and Pearson's subsequent review. His report shows that changes to property values as a result of Pearson's statistical evaluation were not that different overall from adjustments the county made after hearing appeals from property owners.

 

Specifically, Myers found that:

 

  • 69% of property values were unchanged

  • 23% of property values dropped

  • 8% of property values increased

Reaction to the Report

 

Commissioner George Dunlap said Myers' findings vindicate county officials who performed the 2011 revaluation. "There were a few board members who listened to people in the community who were upset and at their whim caused the county to have to incur all these costs," Dunlap said.

 

However, Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour disagreed, saying he thinks the revaluation review helped the county restore public trust. "If that $7 million...prevents the debacle that we had last time, that's money well-spent," Ridenhour said.

 

Mecklenburg is scheduled to conduct another county-wide revaluation by 2019.