Real Property Appeals
During the year of the reappraisal or any year of the reappraisal cycle, a taxpayer may appeal the appraised value of their property. The taxpayer may appeal any property valuation in the county, so long as the taxpayer owns property in the county. The taxpayer may also appeal the listing and assessing of property and the denial of an application for exemption or special assessment.
In many cases, the first step is to contact the tax office informally and seek to resolve the difference without filing a formal appeal. This informal appeal process typically takes place between January and March. If the appeal cannot be settled informally, the taxpayer may appeal to the local Board of Equalization and Review.
All real property appeals for each year must be received before the Board of Equalization and Review adjourns each year. The first meeting of the Board of Equalization and Review must be held no earlier than the first Monday in April and no later than the first Monday in May. Actual times and dates will be advertised in the local newspaper.
The Board of County Commissioners may comprise the Board of Equalization and Review or the county commissioners may appoint a special board to handle the appeals. This level of the appeal process is more formal, with the taxpayer being allotted a specific amount of time to present his case and the county also having time to present its side. The Board of Equalization and Review may choose to decide the appeal immediately or choose to delay its decision and deliberate further. All meetings and deliberations are open to the public. The taxpayer should receive a copy of this decision in writing.
Not Satisfied With Decision
If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the decision of the local board, they may appeal to the State Board of Equalization and Review, known as the Property Tax Commission. The Commission meets monthly in Raleigh to decide questions on valuation and exemption. The Commission is a trial court. Like any trial court, it is required to follow the North Carolina Rules of Evidence. When the taxpayer appeals, the taxpayer has the burden of proof.
Individual taxpayers may present their own cases before the Property Tax Commission, but are encouraged to hire an attorney. Corporate taxpayers and Limited Liability Companies must be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in North Carolina.
The Commission will render its decision within a short time based upon the greater weight of the evidence. Evidence is usually presented as sworn testimony and/or documents. The taxpayer may appeal a decision of the Property Tax Commission to the state Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court, but those bodies may choose to not hear the case as the grounds for appeal are more limited. If an appraisal report is submitted, it is suggested that the appraiser be present to testify concerning the report.
Individual & Business Personal Property Appeals
As per North Carolina General Statute 105-317.1(c), a taxpayer who owns personal property taxable in Rowan County may appeal the value, situs, or tax-ability of the property within 30 days after the date of the initial notice of value. If the assessor does not give separate written notice of the value to the taxpayer at the taxpayer’s last known address, then the tax bill serves as notice of the value of the personal property.
Board of Equalization and Review
Each year the Board of Equalization and Review shall hold its 1st meeting not earlier than the 1st Monday in April and not later than the 1st Monday in May.
A notice of the date, hours, place, and purpose of the 1st meeting of the Board of Equalization and Review shall be published at least 3 times in some newspaper having general circulation in the county, the 1st publication to be at least 10 days prior to the 1st meeting.
Special Board Meetings
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 105-322 (5), after adjournment the Board may continue to meet and hear:
- All appeals relating to discovered property
- All appeals relating to the appraisal, situs, and taxability of classified motor vehicles
- All appeals relating to audits
- All appeals relating to personal property under North Carolina General Statute 105-317.1 (c)