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Old 08-26-2008, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Southern Granville County
64 posts, read 183,021 times
Reputation: 61

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I need info on how to fight a tax assessment that I believe has been done incorrectly. I am on my 4th revision with the tax assessors... which has now lowered my property tax bill by $700, but it is still incorrect. And to make it worse, every time I complain, the tax rate goes up.

I was being taxed on a 5000 sqft home (I have 3000 sqft), and there were numerous other errors in determining the value of my home. When I have complained, they have made the corrections, but raised the rate which they are using to tax every time. I was told it's because I have a "better" house than others in my neighborhood. (I have the smallest and the least expensive). I'm even being charged twice for having a laundry room - heated and unheated rates. Why? Well, that's "just the way we do it". You gotta be kidding me.

Since there is no way to verify what rates are correct (even they don't know what they are - they use a computer program), the manual rates that they use are what they call "best guess". I was told market value wasn't a factor when they were taxing me for more than the house was worth originally, and THEN I was told it did matter when they corrected their errors but increased my tax rate.

I've taken this as far as I can with the Granville County Tax Office, and my next step is the Board of Equalization and Review. Has anybody gone thru this process? (Although frankly, it would appear any corrections will come at the expense of a higher tax rate.... geez, is this how they do things here?)
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:43 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
531 posts, read 1,858,092 times
Reputation: 302
HUH? I thought the tax *rate* was a set percentage, county-wide, which applies to everyone equally. Are you confusing rate with something else?

As a general rule, you have to be careful when appealing assessments because every time they remove/reduce a feature, they find something else ("oh, we didn't know you had hardwood floors!") to bump it back up!

You've gotten a substantial reduction already...you might not want to invite more official scrutiny of your home...
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:21 AM
 
Location: S-E Michigan
3,440 posts, read 4,466,535 times
Reputation: 7848
Default Hard facts and respect....

I have successfully argued for lower tax assessments twice, although not in Granville County. When people ask me how, I give them the two answers above:
  1. Hard Facts: My first challenge came after we added an in-ground pool to our property. I took copies of the construction contract with me that stipulated the scope of work and cost, copies of a magazine article that identified pools as only adding 35% of their cost to the value of the home, and I left these with the local Review Board. They often have to make decisions in an information vacuum, and are forced to apply a "best guess" approach. Any verifiable facts you can provide them will assist them in making their valuation decision.
  2. Respect: Most of these people are volunteering their time, or paid as part time basis only.They don't need to hear me venting my anger regarding taxes at them. I am sure they don't like paying taxes either.
A friend once appealed his taxe increase after building a detached two car garage on his property - after obtaining a building permit. He got angry when he realized he was getting nowhere with his appeal and spouted off something like: "By God, I'm sure glad I didn't get a permit when I finished my basement!"

You guessed it. His taxes went up again as soon as they realized his home now had a fully finished basement!

Keep your cool, provide verifiable facts, and realize the entire county budget is based upon tax payments. The Assessors are required to be accurate, but not charitable.

It sounds as if your assessment was really messed up, I hope it gets corrected properly.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:44 PM
 
4,607 posts, read 7,195,241 times
Reputation: 5236
To the OP , no it is not how they do things here. LOL. You need to speak one on one with someone and stick to the same person for communications, and in person with all the paperwork so this may get resolved. Sounds like communication is getting lost somewhere as to what is really the issue.
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