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Old 02-22-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
554 posts, read 1,315,955 times
Reputation: 286

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Have any of you seen this in the news?
Waxhaw neighbors say home tax values aren't accurate | WCNC.com Charlotte

I just bought a house in Millbridge in the end of December 2011 - a month later I got a tax reassessment bill for $80k+ than I paid for the house! I thought this was a mistake and was looking to appeal it but then I realized I'm not the only homeowner dealing with this - my whole neighborhood and apparently other neighborhoods are going through the same thing. I am outraged!!!! This seems illegal...Union County's defense is that they are basing it off of 2008 prices, but our homes weren't even built then! More-so, I dont understand how when I bought the house just a month before they assessed it at the price I paid. Is there anything we can do? If you watch the video it doesn't look like we are going to get anywhere by appealing...I'm ready to do whatever it takes, so any suggestions or information would be so helpful!
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:43 AM
 
564 posts, read 1,255,779 times
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I had the same issue in Lancaster County just a few miles away. My tax bill came in at 60k more then I paid. I followed the appeal process with the county and proved based on the appraisal at closing and what had sold in the area. They lowered my taxes to what they should have been. It was a very easy process and everyone was very helpful. I know this is a different county and state but hopefully not that much different for you to do.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
554 posts, read 1,315,955 times
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Thank you...but I wish it was this easy. From what I have gathered - people are hiring lawyers and are still getting denied. Kinda crazy thinking that Union County has their heels dug in because it's going to backfire on them...whose going to want to buy here if this happens? I certainly would've thought twice!
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:26 AM
 
2,201 posts, read 2,382,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaEve011 View Post
Thank you...but I wish it was this easy. From what I have gathered - people are hiring lawyers and are still getting denied. Kinda crazy thinking that Union County has their heels dug in because it's going to backfire on them...whose going to want to buy here if this happens? I certainly would've thought twice!
Let's check the facts.

Union County has grown so fast it can't keep up with the infrastructure demanded of the ever increasing population.
UC reappraised in 2008 and the law specifies the period of time between reappraisals for tax purposes.
The "great" recession hits UC along with the entire country.
House prices fall all over, but the tax rate remains the same in UC.
UC still experiences greater than average growth despite the recession.

How is it going to backfire on them?
Are people going to stop buying houses in Union County. That might not be a bad thing right now, but by the amount of new construction I see that isn't true.
Are we going to vote the three commissioners that insisted on the tax rate remaining the same despite the recession? I doubt it, it appears that two more candidates of their lockstep thinking are going to be the front runners for the two vacating seats. That will give us 5 commissioners that think the population of UC are supportive of their politics..... and they may be right.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:54 AM
 
2,105 posts, read 3,587,577 times
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Your experience is a common one almost anywhere you buy a house, no surprise here.
The county services cost offered based on 2008 rates cannot not be decreased to reflect current market value.

I would question if you buy a house at or above assessment value nowadays...
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
554 posts, read 1,315,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getatag View Post
Let's check the facts.

Union County has grown so fast it can't keep up with the infrastructure demanded of the ever increasing population.
UC reappraised in 2008 and the law specifies the period of time between reappraisals for tax purposes.

Listen, state the facts all you want but what is happening is wrong. Most of the time when a county has GROWN so fast, the taxes will DECREASE because they have more money coming in from the fast growth of population! Also, my property didn't exist in 2008 - I just bought it 2 months ago! To raise is over $80k is just WRONG...in no way is it worth that much or would I ever be able to sell it for that much.

The "great" recession hits UC along with the entire country.
House prices fall all over, but the tax rate remains the same in UC.
UC still experiences greater than average growth despite the recession.

No kidding that the "Great Recession" has hit everywhere ALONG with UC - my point exactly. If you have a growing population in a county (which means more peope are paying taxes) you should consider the county lucky for the growth. The reassessment tax value is based on the "'housing bubble" of 2008 when my house didn't exist. Again, I just bought it.



How is it going to backfire on them?
Are people going to stop buying houses in Union County. That might not be a bad thing right now, but by the amount of new construction I see that isn't true.

Yes, this is exactly how it could backfire on them. A lot of people come to Union County because it's just outside the perimeters of Mecklenburg with a better tax rate, great schools, ect. But with shadiness like this it completely negates the appeal of taxes. I never expected that taxes would never raise, but to me this is a pretty shady way of doing it.

Are we going to vote the three commissioners that insisted on the tax rate remaining the same despite the recession? I doubt it, it appears that two more candidates of their lockstep thinking are going to be the front runners for the two vacating seats. That will give us 5 commissioners that think the population of UC are supportive of their politics..... and they may be right.

I don't know what we could do. That's why I'm asking for some advice. In no way was this forum started to be an argument. I'm just looking for some insight. I'm young, I'm a first time homeowner, and I'm looking for some information and suggestions.

Look, it goes without saying that we are still in a recession with more foreclosures than we can handle...and sadly there are many families that are still getting by from pay check to pay check; just trying to stay afloat to not have to foreclose...with reassessment values as such I don't think this would be a positive thing. Mortgage payments are going up $150-$200 a month because of this. Yes, that could affect someones decision from struggling monthly but holding on just to not foreclose to just throwing in the towel and adding to the high foreclosure number. Obviously it's smart to know that your taxes could be reassessed but this is just ludicrous. And that's my whole point about it backfiring and my reasons for being outraged.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:16 AM
 
1,031 posts, read 2,147,727 times
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Default Well....welcome to the UC

getatag is exactly correct. Sorry about your re-eval but that's what happens here. Years ago, my taxes were pretty reasonable. Then the growth boon hit UC and there was a need for schools, infrastructure, road improvements, sewer systems that needed capping so that the smell wouldn't be bad for the neighborhood that built right across the street.
State cut the budget and that gets made up at the local level. People want those really awesome schools right? For the last 10 years, my taxes have gone up 100% from when I first moved into the house I am living in.

Actually the more people that come here the higher the taxes. UC spends about $1.50 for services for every dollar it takes in, in taxes. Also, there's not a big industrial base here to bring in more tax revenue. Soooo, it all gets pushed down to the property owners. Yes, your neighborhood wasn't there in 2008, but that's not the point. The revals get set by the NC Leg. They set the basic time table and the county can vote wheter or not to re-eval or not. In some respects you might be lucky. Had Millbridge developed like it was originally planned, your rate might have actually been higher. Not saying that it won't get there.....As I was told by someone on this board when I was grinding about my taxes going up 10% every year. "Hey it isn't as bad as where "we" came from..so "we" don't mind paying them. I'm from the UC, so his point was lost on me, but I think you get his meaning.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:25 AM
 
2,201 posts, read 2,382,141 times
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Maybe we have a disconnect in understanding.

Are you saying prior to the closing the costs (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) as they were disclosed to you via the real estate lawyer were not the true costs? They told you one assessment and then you received a higher one from the county?

The reason I ask is because the county rates are based on a formula from 2008. They (closing agents) could easily have figured your total tax prior to purchasing your new home down to the penny.

Maybe I'm missing something, but every house I've ever purchase came with a clear tax rate attached to it. The rate didn't change until the next assessment. There hasn't been a new assessment in UC in the time period since you purchase your home.

Just an additional point to your first reply to me. The tax base in UC is unusual in that it is around 85 - 90% residential. Residential taxes don't carry the load so to speak. In UC for housing in the 200 to 400 K range the tax pays for less than the services that must be provided. I think the last numbers I saw were for every 1 dollar in taxes the county must provide 1.30 or 1.40 in services. Yes, this eventually pays for itself, but it takes more than a decade of collecting on that one house. So rates aren't going down just because the county is growing. It's the type of growth that signals a tax reduction. Business, on average, need only 40-60 cents of every dollar they pay in taxes. UC has a negative healthy growth pattern.

My answer to how will it backfire on them was a bit sarcastic, sorry. BUT that is exactly what this county needs, less people moving here until we can solve the main infrastructure issues. Water/sewer/power/schools.
Schools were well on their way to being solved when the crunch hit. Now the commissioners are pinching pennies and cutting back school funding while the population continues to grow at 1 1/2 to 3 percent per year.

Sorry to be so long winded, but it explains why you won't see a reduction in your property evaluation in the near future. I wish we could pressure the commissioners to have a new evaluation. Based on recent private appraisals, my house is worth much less than than county evaluation too.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Union County
5,787 posts, read 8,434,459 times
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The outrage is understandable, but everyone is dealing with this nationally - people are not going to "stop buying in Union County" due to this issue alone. There may be other reasons, but "higher taxes" is pandemic at this point... these counties cannot maintain the same level of services without the revenue. Heck, just about every county nationally is cutting at the current revenue levels and you're proposing to give them less money. Sure, you paid less then the assessed value, but so has everyone else who has bought in 2009, 2010, 2011... Why do you get a break for new recent construction and everyone else has to stay at the 2008 level? It's simply not fair on all sides. I get it. But assessed value has never equated to market value in any way, shape, or form. Any decent RE agent worth their salt will explain this to you.

So take a step back and look at it like a pool of money - we're all contributing to this pool to maintain the county services. So if you're going to follow through with your idea and lower contributions for a subset of folks who bought post2008, what do you do for the rest of the county? This is the legal sticking point that you won't be able to hurdle.

In the end we have to wait until UC does their revals officially. Meck county recently went through a reval (many threads on it in this very forum) where it was a debate on things like keeping "rate neutral"... It's a game - by keeping rates neutral and succumbing to the deflated house values, the math simply doesn't work. So in the end, they'll be forced to keep the inflated assessment or raise rates (or some hybrid). Look at NY, CA, FL, etc - perfect examples of how bad it is nationally... folks in these states have dealt with 4,5,6..10+% tax rate increases over the past several years each year cumulatively and people are flipping out ready to form lynch mobs to the public sector.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
554 posts, read 1,315,955 times
Reputation: 286
First, thank you to both of you. As you can see, I'm uninformed and coming from a different state doesn't help. As I always do I asked for my family's advice...they own apartment complexes and properties in NY so I thought they could give me some insight. They seemed to be upset about it too and didn't think it sounded right. Then I saw that it's been quite a topic here in Millbridge with many people living here longer than me and being upset about it, then I saw it was on the news....I don't understand how this is a normal thing to do in UC if there's all this talk and frustration going on about it now.

Getatag - Yes, I think we had a misunderstanding. When I bought my house the lawyer figured out my tax assessment at 80K less. So after a month of living here, I got a tax reassessment letter in the mail it was over $80k more! Which will make my monthly payment to the mortgage company about $200 more a month. Ughh..just never expected this.

However, I do have to say that as upset as I am I would feel better to see a positive side come out of this and if it does help with the infrastructure and making Waxhaw a better place to live then I can deal with this tax reassessment...I just don't understand why they wouldn't just raise the tax percentage instead of raising the appraisal of my home to a price of not nearly what it's worth.

Again, thanks for your responses because it helped me understand this better from a more clear picture. Sometimes we get all riled up when a bunch of us outraged homeowners are complaining and feeding off each others frustration.
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