This question is frequently asked here at CRS. The answer is simple. Unless you are 100% familiar with revaluation and are certain you know how to navigate the revaluation process, you should first consult an attorney. As a legal process, revaluation appeals, once past the informal review, are quasi-judicial matters with specific and formal rules. Individuals are allowed to appeal without an attorney to the Board of Equalization and Review, but corporate businesses must have an attorney, someone designated as an officer or responsible party, or an individual with a power of attorney represent them. Some of the most common mistakes made are:
The easiest way to determine if you should appeal your revaluation is to determine if your property will see significant savings. Below is a simple formula to determining your appeals savings
(Value Assigned By Assessor-Market Value)/100 x Combined City/County Tax Rate x Years Until Next Valuation (8 For Mecklenburg) = Property Tax Savings
The only way to make sure your property is set at the correct market value is to consult experts and present evidence. Your attorney can help you with all of that.
INFORMAL REVIEW & THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION AND REVIEW (BER)
The first step in an appeal is to request an informal review and then appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review if you are not satisfied with your informal review. The Board is a group of citizens who are appointed by the County Commissioners. The Board of Equalization and Review is required to hold its first meeting between the first Monday in April and the first Monday in May. The BER deadline for appeals is usually in May or April. Appeal deadlines vary from county to county and from year to year in each county.
THE NORTH CAROLINA PROPERTY TAX COMMISSION
Once you have your Board of Equalization and Review hearing, you will receive a notice in the mail of their decision. If you do not agree with their decision, you have 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal and Application to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission. The North Carolina Property Tax Commission is a formal body and is a legal proceeding. Taxpayers are responsible for presenting evidence to demonstrate why they believe that their commercial property has been unfairly assessed. Your county will be given the opportunity to prove that their valuation equates to fair market value. This hearing is an adversarial process. The taxpayer, unless represented by an attorney, will be responsible for presenting evidence, cross examining witnesses, and defending their case against the county staff.
NC COURT OF APPEALS AND SUPREME COURT OF NC
After the North Carolina Property Tax Commission reaches a decision, the parties both have the right to appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals may uphold the valuation ruling, overrule the valuation ruling, or remand the case back to the Commission for further review. Decisions made by the North Carolina Court of Appeals can be appealed to the Supreme Court of North Carolina under certain circumstances.