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TMCNet:  Commissioners vote to postpone property revaluation

[January 24, 2013]

Commissioners vote to postpone property revaluation

Jan 24, 2013 (The Yadkin Ripple - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Yadkin County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to postpone the reappraisal cycle for property valuation from Jan. 1, 2015 to Jan. 1, 2017 at their Jan. 22 meeting.


This vote means that property values will not be re-evaluated again until 2017, when the county is required by state law to revalue.

County commissioners voted for the previous extension on Jan. 26, 2011 to extend the valuation for two years.

"The board decided to postpone two years ago because property values were down and they wanted to wait for them to stabilize," said Commissioner Chair Kevin Austin. "There hasn't been a huge change in the valuation, and the market hasn't been very stable. So I think that it would not be beneficial to revalue now." Another issue that the county would have to address had it voted against postponing would have been a lack of staffing in the tax assessor's office. According to Phyllis Adams, manager of the Yadkin County Tax Assessor's Office, the office is already functioning without filling an open position and another staff member will be leaving in June.

"We will be down to staff members by June and that's not enough staff to perform a revaluation," Adams said. "If the board votes against postponing then the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget will have to accommodate hiring more staff and we would have to hire a consultant to come in because we don't have enough staff to do the revaluation in house." Adams couldn't give a set price of how much more a consultant would cost the county as opposed to performing the task in house because it's been six years since the county's last revaluation and costs for consultants have changed.

Adams says that the revaluation in house would cost the county approximately $20 a parcel, and that there are 27,037 parcels in the county right now. This leads to an overall cost of $540,740 and an increase of approximately 2.5 cents to the taxpayers tax rate.

This would have an effect on the 5 cent tax cut that commissioners voted for in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 and maintained in 2012-2013.

"This board has been very conscientious of the tax payers," Adams said. "When [the board] cut the tax rates without a revaluation, it was unheard of." Adams said that properties across the county did stand a chance of increasing or decreasing but the overall savings that the county stood to gain would not match the cost of the revaluation right now.

Ultimately the board voted on a resolution stating that the board would return to the scheduled octennial reappraisal cycle with the next general reappraisal date being from Jan.1, 2015 to Jan. 1 2017 and setting the reappraisal schedule for every eight years.

Other topics from the meeting: -The board received a report from IT Director Daniel Settle on the status of county's phone system. Settle said that the county will finish paying for the five year lease agreement on the phones in May of this year. The company that sold the system to the county has since been bought out by HP. HP has informed the county that it will begin what is called an "end of life" on some of the products that the county purchased. This means that there will no longer be software support or hardware updates for these products. Settle said that this could leave the county susceptible to a phone system crash if its main phone servers were to malfunction. Settle provided the board with three options to consider: do nothing, replace phone sets and phone servers only or replace the phone system, sets and network switches all at the same time. The board discussed the possibilities and a majority of the board felt that they would like to look into services that Yadtel might have to offer as well as looking into stocking up on existing equipment that would be compatible with the current phone system. No vote was required at this time.

-The board voted to approve an ordinance and site plan for the 5-D Deep Creek Reservoir Park, which will allow recreational activities around a watershed. This ultimately allows the board to use money from the 500,000 PARTF grant.

-The board voted unanimously to authorize the county manager to negotiate and execute a contract with Smith and Gardner Engineers to conduct a solid waste program evaluation. County Manager Aaron Church said that following an emergency service that Republic Services Waste Management provided the county it was brought to his attention that the county may be overpaying for its solid waste services. This program evaluation will help the county see where it could be saving money and to help determine if the county needs to send out a bid for a change in solid waste services.

Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at lcraven@civitasmedia.com.

___ (c)2013 The Yadkin Ripple (Yadkinville, N.C.) Visit The Yadkin Ripple (Yadkinville, N.C.) at www.yadkinripple.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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