Officials stress need for residents to ensure property is listed properly

About 30 residents turned out to hear Craven County officials discuss the 2016 property revaluation process during a meeting in Havelock.

The process was last done in 2010 and is designed to come up with a value at which property is taxed.

“It’s probably not the most interesting subject for a meeting,” county tax assessor Ronnie Antry admitted.

But he stressed it is important, as property values have a big impact on the amount of taxes owners pay to the county and city.

The value of property is assessed through recent property sales from the neighborhood in which one lives, said Glen Jones, chief appraiser for the county. He said the county looks back at the most recent sales from the last three years.

In 2015, property sales were about 10 percent higher than assessed values from 2010 in the county, which could be an indication of higher property values overall. However, Jones stressed that ultimately the county tax rate determines the amount of property tax owed.

“None of us knows how that will play out,” he said.

He said the goal of property revaluation is not to increase taxes.

“A revaluation is not for money,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the market. … I’m not pro tax. I’m human like everybody else out there.”

He stressed to those attending the meeting that they contact the county with changes in property status, such as additions or improvements that could change a home’s value. Unreported changes could result in tax penalties.

“It’s going to make your value go up,” he said. “But don’t you think your value should go up?”

He urged those who notice any mistakes in how property is listed in the county to contact the assessor’s office at 636-6640.

“We try our best to get it right,” he said. “If it’s not right, all you have to do is call us.”

The property is valued as of Jan. 1. Notices of property value are scheduled to be mailed in February, followed by a two-month appeal process for residents who dispute their assessed property value. Tax bills are scheduled to be mailed out in August.

More information is available online at www.cravencountync.gov/departments/tax/appraisal.cfm.