The Guilford County Tax Department just completed its 2022 revaluation of every house, building and piece of property in Guilford County – so you’d think the last thing on anyone’s mind would be the next revaluation.
However, things are already in motion for the revaluation cycle for Guilford County – currently once every five years – to be shortened to once every four years when the county adopts its fiscal 2022-2023 budget in a few months.
After the Board of Commissioners Thursday, March 3 meeting, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said that the revaluation cycle question would be addressed during the upcoming budget talks, and Alston added that he very much wants to see the county move from a five-year revaluation cycle to a four-year cycle.
Alston, the leader of the Democratic majority on the board, has been backing the move for some time, and now that the 2022 revaluation is in the rearview mirror, he’s ready to address the matter.
At the meeting, during a presentation on the 2022 revaluation, Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis also alluded to the coming shorter cycle – “whether it’s in three years or four years – whatever the commissioners decide.”
After the meeting, when asked about the comment, Chavis said that he also favored a revaluation every four years. He said one benefit is that it would help capture changing property values sooner and would keep the county’s valuations closer to the actual market values of homes and other property.
Chavis added that a three-year cycle, in his mind, is too quick, because tax officials would barely have time to recover from the end of one revaluation before starting a new one.
NC State law requires counties to conduct a revaluation at least once every eight years, however, counties can hold the revaluations more frequently should the county’s Board of Commissioners choose to do so.
The more frequent revaluation could work in favor of property owners – if property values fall in the coming years. However, housing values usually go up over time, so a much more likely scenario is that people will end up paying more in taxes due to the shorter revaluation period.
In the past, the former Republican-majority Board of Commissioners, during a revaluation year, cut the tax rate in order to prevent homeowners from having to pay more taxes due to their increased property values.
However, the current Democratic-majority board has exhibited no such desire to keep the finances “revenue-neutral” after a revaluation. For instance, the current 2022 revaluation, with the new higher property values, is likely to bring in more than $55 million in additional money from county taxpayers, and Alston and the majority of the Board of Commissioners are already making plans on how to spend for that additional revenue while leaving the tax rate the same.