- Special Sections
- Public Notices
HILLSVILLE — Carroll real estate values decreased during the recent reassessment for the first time in decades, Assessor Janie Harrison reported to the county supervisors on Feb. 11.
Harrison began working in the assessor’s office in 1983, she said at the monthly county board meeting. “In 30 years, I have never seen a decline in market until now. Our overall decline was about 12.23 percent — that’s the overall land book total.”
Reassessment contractor Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group’s Michael Colavecchio put it this way in a recent update: “The final aggregate total of all taxable property at the completion of the hearings is $2,331,728,700. This reflects a 12 percent decrease from 2012 value, excluding consideration of land use assessment.”
Harrison at the meeting praised Wampler-Eanes' work.
The contractor started working in 2011 and worked 15 months through 2012, she said. “[The company] worked up until the midnight hour on Dec. 28 to give us a reassessment book and they reviewed 33,032 parcels in the county.”
Of those parcels, 31,869 are taxable and 1,153 are tax exempt.
Back when work started on the reassessment in 2011, a report from the Department of Taxation put the land values compared to sales ratio at 103 percent.
Figures from 2012 sales as compared to assessed values put the ratio at 111 percent.
“Comparing the same set of sales from 2012 to the new values in 2013, right now our ratio is at 97 percent, so that’s a good solid ratio to start out with following a reassessment period,” Harrison said.
Of the taxable parcels in Carroll, about 64.24 percent decreased in value, she said. Around 27.65 percent of the parcels did not change.
The 8 percent of the parcels that might have seen a little bit of increase in value were likely due to construction or changes to the property that had not been picked up from building permits.
“People don’t always get a building permit to work on their property so sometimes a property would increase just for that specific purpose,” Harrison said.
The contract with the reassessment firm cost the county $12.95 per parcel, the assessor said. The total paid to the appraiser is $427,764.
Previously, reassessment contractors charged around $18 to $10 per parcel.
Carroll also had $8,710 in postage to send out notices and has to cover the costs of the board of equalization, she said. The board of equalization has to set its meeting dates. Their work has to be completed by the end of June.
Wampler-Eanes said in its report that 1,488 parcels were reviewed and 1,279 were adjusted afterwards.
With 33,000 parcels to consider in a short time, it’s hard not to have an occasional slip of a finger on a keyboard, Harrison said.
“Overall, it’s been a good reassessment,” the assessor said. “The firm was good to work with.”
The county officials did not discuss what the effect of the reassessment might be on the real estate tax rates at the meeting.